Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) said Wednesday that he would join Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) to challenge the Electoral College vote counts in certain states when Congress meets to formalize the vote on January 6.
“I cannot vote to certify the electoral college results on January 6 without raising the fact that some states, particularly Pennsylvania, failed to follow their own state election laws,” Hawley said in announcing his decision.
“And I cannot vote to certify without pointing out the unprecedented effort of mega corporations, including Facebook and Twitter, to interfere in this election, in support of Joe Biden,” Hawley’s statement contined. “At the very least, Congress should investigate allegations of voter fraud and adopt measures to secure the integrity of our elections. But Congress has so far failed to act.”
Hawley did not say which states he planned to object to next week.
House, Senate to debate objections
When a member of the House and Senate both challenge a state’s set of electors, it forces a debate of at least two hours and a vote on whether to accept the challenged results.
It does not look like there are enough votes in the House or Senate to stop a state’s electors from being affirmed, but it would be odd for Republicans not to challenge the results when 77% of their own voters think the election was fraudulent and that Trump actually won.
No objection by Congress has ever changed a state’s electors; previous objections in 1969 and 2005 were rejected.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) had hoped to avoid the debate altogether, however, and had urged GOP Senators not to join GOP House members in objecting to the results.
Biden press secretary says Electoral College vote should be “formality”
Incoming Biden Press Secretaty Jen Psaki made it clear she doesn’t think any challenge of the Electoral College results should get much attention.
“This is merely a formality,” Psaki told reporters during a virtual press briefing. “It certainly should be treated as such by people who are covering it. And regardless of whatever antics anyone is up to on Jan. 6, President-elect Biden will be sworn in on the 20th.”
Walmart had to apologize for a tweet it posted that called Hawley a “sore loser” Wednesday afternoon, saying that an employee posted on the company-branded account instead of his personal account.
“We have removed the post and have no intention of commenting on the subject of certifying the electoral college,” the company clarified. “We apologize to Senator Hawley for this error and any confusion about our position.”