U.S. Senator Ted Cruz is among 11 Republican lawmakers who plan to oppose certification of U.S. Electoral College votes next week, one of the last steps before President-elect Joe Biden is confirmed.
In a statement on Saturday, senators called for the creation of an electoral commission with investigative powers to conduct a “10-day emergency audit” of the results of the US presidential election in the “states. contested ”.
“As a result, we intend to vote on January 6 to reject voters in the contested states … unless and until this 10-day emergency audit is completed,” the senators said, without specifying. which states they were referring to.
The United States Congress will vote on January 6 to certify the results of the electoral college, thus ending a long presidential competition that has given drama to the generally procedural and banal process of formalizing the results after election day.
President Donald Trump still refuses to concede defeat to Biden despite the resounding victory of the former vice president.
Instead, Trump and his allies continued to falsely claim that widespread fraud spoiled the election while seizing every moment in an attempt to overturn the results – including pressuring allies in Congress to they oppose the certification of the vote of the Electoral College.
“An attempt to steal a landslide victory. I can’t let this happen! Trump tweeted on Saturday. Posting a list of the 11 senators, he added: “And after seeing the facts, there will be many more to come … Our country will love them for that!”
But the latest effort by Republican lawmakers is almost certain to fail.
Both houses of Congress would have to vote to reject state electoral votes for the move to be effective – and the US House of Representatives is Democrat-controlled.
In their statement on Saturday, Republican senators said that after the end of the requested 10-day audit, individual states would then review the findings and “could call a special legislative session to certify a change in their vote, if necessary. “.
The signatories include James Lankford of Oklahoma and Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, as well as four newly elected Republicans who will enter the Senate this week.
They join Senator Josh Hawley and a group of 140 Republicans in the House who have already announced their intention to oppose certification.
Trump and his allies had previously tried to overturn the results of several key states in a series of recounts and prosecutions. These lawsuits have consistently failed, with voters from all 50 states and the District of Columbia foundry their official votes on December 14.
The results gave Biden 306 electoral votes, well above the threshold of 270 votes necessary for victory.
A federal judge on Friday dismissed a lawsuit brought by Representative Louie Gohmert that sought to allow Vice President Mike Pence, who chairs the congressional tally, to declare Trump the winner on Jan.6.
Pence chief of staff Marc Short said in a statement on Saturday that lawmakers have the right to raise their objections.
“The Vice President applauds the efforts of members of the House and Senate to use the authority they have under the law to raise objections and present evidence to Congress and the American people on January 6,” Short said.
Senator Bernie Sanders, a Democrat, slammed Republican lawmakers for considering opposing voter certification, saying it was “a sad and tragic day” for the country where they and Trump “try to undermine democracy America and our Constitution ”.
“They won’t succeed,” Sanders tweeted on Saturday.
It is a sad and tragic day for our country that 140 members of the House of Representatives, 13 Senators and a defeated President attempt to undermine American democracy and our Constitution.
They will not succeed.
– Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) January 2, 2021
Several Republican senators have also criticized plans to oppose certification, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warning party members against acquiescing to Trump’s demands.
He reportedly called Wednesday’s vote “the most important” of his political career.
Saturday’s senators’ statement presented no new evidence to support the president’s allegations of fraud and voting irregularities, but instead suggested that the allegations themselves had raised enough doubt about the results to warrant an audit.
They claimed responsibility for the allegations – which have been argued in state and federal courts, and that the Supreme Court of the United States was asked to weigh on – had not been properly resolved.
“Either way, the allegations of fraud and irregularities in the 2020 election outweigh any in our lives,” Senators said, citing a Nov. 18 Reuters / Ipsos poll that found that 67% of Republicans and 17% of Democrats thought the election was “rigged.”
“A fair and credible audit conducted quickly and completed well before January 20 would dramatically improve Americans’ confidence in our electoral process and greatly strengthen the legitimacy of whoever will become our next president,” they said, citing the end of our term. Trump.
Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski urged her colleagues to recognize the election results.
Murkowski said on Saturday she intended to confirm the Electoral College vote, adding that US courts had heard the allegations and “found nothing to justify overturning the results.”
My statement regarding the next meeting of Congress to formally count the votes of the Electoral College and certify the 2020 presidential election: pic.twitter.com/Bk8jd21Emr
– Sen. Lisa Murkowski (@lisamurkowski) January 2, 2021
“I urge my colleagues from both parties to recognize this and join me in maintaining confidence in the Electoral College and our elections so that we can ensure the continued confidence of the American people,” she said in a statement. communicated.
Utah Senator Mitt Romney, the only Republican to vote to impeach Trump for seeking help from a foreign government to investigate his political rival, also expressed dismay at his party’s support for the effort aimed at overturning the election results.
“I could never have imagined seeing these things in the world’s largest democracy. Has ambition so eclipsed principle? Romney said in a statement.