Explained: What may happen on Jan 6 as Trump’s allies prepare to overturn electoral college results
Apart from at least 140 House Republicans reportedly preparing to overturn US election results, a coalition of 11 Republican senators, led by Ted Cruz, has announced its plan to reject electors from some states when Congress meets on January 6 to formally certify the Electoral College and President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. In a joint statement, the senators claimed that the 2020 presidential elections featured “unprecedented allegations of voter fraud” and other voting irregularities.
“We intend to vote on January 6 to reject the electors from disputed states as not ‘regularly given’ and ‘lawfully certified’ (the statutory requisite), unless and until that emergency 10-day audit is completed,” the statement read.
US Vice-President Mike Pence has also welcomed the plan of the Republican senators to refuse to certify Biden’s victory. The vice-president’s chief of staff Marc Short said that Pence shares the “concerns of millions of Americans”, adding that he has welcomed that efforts of lawmakers to use their authority “to raise objections and bring forward evidence before the Congress”.
What may happen on January 6?
The House of Representatives and the Senate will debate for two hours over the objections, if any, raised by the lawmakers, which will be followed by a vote. However, US President Donald Trump’s allies need a majority of lawmakers in both chambers voting in their favour to uphold the objections. Such attempts have virtually no chance to succeed since Democrats control the House and top Senate Republicans have already recognised Biden as the next president of the United States.
Several Republican leaders, including senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, have been warning their GOP colleagues to not disrupt the certification process. Utah Senator Mitt Romney said in a statement that the “egregious ploy” to reject electors “dangerously threatens our Democratic Republic”. Romney highlighted the fact that the Justice Department found no evidence of irregularity sufficient to overturn the election.
“I could never have imagined seeing these things in the greatest democracy in the world. Has ambition so eclipsed principle?” he asked rhetorically.
Earlier, Republican senator Ben Sasse had written in a Facebook post that he has been urging his colleagues to reject the “dangerous ploy” to overturn the election. Sasse explained that there are a bunch of ambitious politicians who think there’s a quick way to “tap into the president’s populist base without doing any real, long-term damage.”