The congressional electoral certification of the presidential results is normally a staid proceeding, the last formality before the president-elect is officially inaugurated. This year, however, the event will be far more dramatic as a number of Texas Republicans have indicated they will challenge the electoral results.
Congress convenes for this proceeding, presided by Vice President Pence as the Senate President, on Wednesday. The presidential electors selected by every state cast their votes last month and declared Joe Biden the president-elect with 306 electoral votes. Members of both the Senate and House meet in a joint session, and a challenge can only take place to a state’s electoral votes if a member of each chamber voices an objection.
Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri announced last week he would officially object to the electoral certification. A few days later, Senator Ted Cruz announced he and at least eleven other Republican senators would also object and have asked for a 10-day emergency voting audit and the establishment of a commission.
In the House, scores of Republicans intend to object to certifying the Electoral College results, including Texans Rep. Lance Gooden and Rep. Ronny Jackson.
Rep. Louie Gohmert and a handful of Arizona Republicans, electors if the state had voted for Trump, recently filed a lawsuit against Vice President Pence to force him to overturn the Electoral College results in the congressional certification. The lawsuit was dismissed by Judge Jeremy Kernodle, a Trump appointee, in the Eastern District of Texas.
Appearing on the far-right network Newsmax, Gohmert seemed to suggest violence as a counteraction to the congressional electoral certification. Gohmert later released a statement in response saying he was not advocating for violence. In the statement, Gohmert notes, “I have long advocated for following the teaching and example of Martin Luther King Jr. of peaceful protest.”
One Texas Republican who will not be objecting to certification is Rep. Chip Roy. From the house floor, he introduced an objection to seat members of Congress from six swing states: Pennsylvania, Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, Wisconsin, and Georgia. In a follow-up statement, it appeared Roy was challenging fellow Republicans for continuing to question the Electoral College results.
Senator John Cornyn will not join Cruz in objecting to the certification. Neither has commented on the bombshell recording of President Trump asking Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” more votes and potentially overturn the state’s presidential election results. A rally in support of President Trump will also take place in Washington on Wednesday. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a co-chair of Lawyers for Trump, announced that he would be attending.
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