Last Updated on January 2, 2021
Momentum appears to be building for the January 6 Electoral College battle, as a new wave of U.S. Senators, apparently led by Sen. Ted Cruz, will join Sen. Josh Hawley and over 140 Republican members of the House in their Electoral College objection, likely to the chagrin of Republican leadership.
Unlike Hawley, Cruz and this new coalition of Senators are demanding a 10-day audit in battleground states to examine the numerous credible accusations of widespread voter fraud that plague at least six states.
The development was first reported by Politico’s Burgess Everett, who notes that Cruz led the Senators in a joint statement: “We intend to vote on January 6 to reject the electors from disputed states as not ‘regularly given’ and ‘lawfully certified’, unless and until that emergency 10-day audit is complete.”
Signers include Sens. Cruz, Ron Johnson, James Lankford, Steve Daines, John Kennedy, Marsha Blackburn, Mike Braun, Cynthia Lummis, Bill Haggerty, and Senator-elect Tommy Tuberville.
Joining Hawley, that makes at least 12 GOP senators set to vote against accepting Biden's Electoral College win
— Burgess Everett (@burgessev) January 2, 2021
In a statement, the Senators said “Voter fraud has posed a persistent challenge in our elections, although its breadth and scope are disputed.” They add, “By any measure, the allegations of fraud and irregularities in the 2020 election exceed any in our lifetimes.”
Fox News notes: “The senators and senators-elect are calling for Congress to appoint a commission to conduct a 10-day emergency audit of the election returns in states where the results are disputed. They cite as precedent the 1877 race between Samuel Tilden and Rutherford Hayes in which there were allegations of fraud in multiple states.”
GOP senators, led by Cruz, to object to Electoral College certification, demand emergency audit | Fox News https://t.co/t0RRwhpLJn
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) January 2, 2021
This comes weeks after Rep. Mo Brooks announced his effort to object to the Electoral College count. Until this week, Brooks had no allies in the Senate. This was joined when Hawley announced he would join the call, despite Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pressuring him not to.
This also comes after dozens of state legislators in Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina, and Mississippi sent letters to their U.S. Senators, urging them to act on January 6. North Carolina legislators also sent a letter, as did Florida Rep. Anthony Sabitini, and Virignia’s Jarome Bell and Amanda Chase.
When McConnell attempted to excoriate Hawley in a Senate-wide conference call, McConnell reportedly raged for several minutes without realizing Hawley was not on the line and never joined the call.
Similarly, sources close to President Donald Trump told National File that Tuberville would join the fight, but would not announce it publicly. Then, McConnell reportedly contacted Tuberville and instructed him to “knife Trump in the back” on January 6.
It appears McConnell’s control over the Republican-led Senate may be wavering.
Now that multiple members of the House and Senate have agreed to object, the chances of a contingent election seem to have increased.
As National File has previously reported, Pence will soon face a rare Constitutional event as competing slates of electors are provided on January 6. Meister notes that “Pence will be faced with dueling electors for the six disputed swing states, a Biden slate from the governors, and a Trump slate from the lawmakers.”
This would leave President Trump with a thin majority of electoral votes, with 232 to Joe Biden’s 227.
As neither candidate would win the requisite 270 vote majority, a contingent election would be necessary to determine the next President, in accordance with the Constitution.
A contingent election would see the House of Representatives charged with voting for the next President, and the Senate with choosing the next Vice President.
However, in a contingent election, each state represented in the House of Representatives will only have one vote, thus rendering the advantages of high population states like California and New York moot.
It remains unclear if other Senators, including Rand Paul and John Cornyn, who previously indicated they may join the Electoral College objection, will now join publicly as momentum increases.