Challenging The Electors

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Outgoing President Donald Trump is throwing one grenade after another into the high-stakes Georgia Senate runoffs in the final days before the Tuesday election.

And it's not clear who the victims of his explosions will be.

First it was his refusal to accept defeat in the 2020 election, which muddied his party's message here about the need to keep the Senate in Republican hands. Then he pushed GOP leaders to pass $2,000 stimulus checks, compelling Sen. David Perdue and Sen. Kelly Loeffler to switch their positions on the issue to align with him.

He also described the "Republican Senate" as "pathetic" for rebuffing his demands to repeal an internet liability law known as Section 230 in a military bill vote that Perdue and Loeffler missed.

On Friday, Trump falsely claimed that the entire 2020 election in Georgia, including the two Senate races, were "illegal and invalid." On Saturday, Trump again cast doubt on the legitimacy of the state's election system.

His recent series of tweets came moments after Loeffler urged rally-goers in this suburb of Atlanta to vote and urge people they know across the state to vote.

"We've got to hold the line," she said. "We're the firewall to stopping socialism in America."

A group of GOP senators led by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, will object to the Jan. 6 certification of the presidential election results next week unless there is an emergency 10-day audit of the results by an electoral commission.

Cruz and the other senators claim the Nov. 3 election "featured unprecedented allegations of voter fraud and illegal conduct."

Joining Cruz are Sens. Ron Johnson, R-Wis.; James Lankford, R-Okla.; Steve Daines, R-Mont.; John Kennedy, R-La.; Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and Mike Braun, R-Ind.; as well as Sens.-elect Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo.; Roger Marshall, R-Kansas; Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn., and Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala.

Their effort is separate from one announced by Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., who said this week that he will object to what he claims was the failure of some states -- most notably Pennsylvania -- to follow their own election laws.

 "Voter fraud has posed a persistent challenge in our elections, although its breadth and scope are disputed," the lawmakers said Saturday in a statement. "By any measure, the allegations of fraud and irregularities in the 2020 election exceed any in our lifetimes."

While the Trump campaign has challenged the results in dozens of lawsuits, judges in multiple states have shot them down. Attorney General William Barr told The Associated Press last month that "to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election."

Nearly a quarter of Senate Republicans are officially preparing to challenge President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College win on Jan. 6, a stunning development that demonstrates just how far some in the GOP will go to align themselves with President Donald Trump’s flailing claims that the election was stolen from him.

Eleven more Republican senators announced Saturday they will challenge Biden’s election victory next week when Congress gathers to certify the Electoral College vote. The movement is led by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who circulated the idea among Senate Republicans of voting against certification of the election unless there’s an election audit.

"We intend to vote on January 6 to reject the electors from disputed states as not ‘regularly given’ and ‘lawfully certified,'" the senators said. "Unless and until that emergency 10-day audit is completed."

The 11 senators' efforts are separate from Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), who was the first senator to announce he would join with House Republicans to object to the certification of the election results. Hawley responded to the new objectors on Saturday, saying he hopes "many more will listen to their constituents and act."

The senators and incoming lawmakers — including Sens.-elect Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), and Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) — released a joint statement on Saturday, expressing their intent to “reject the electors from disputed states” on January 6, explaining that the 2020 presidential election featured “unprecedented allegations of voter fraud, violations and lax enforcement of election law, and other voting irregularities.”

“And those allegations are not believed just by one individual candidate. Instead, they are widespread,” the lawmakers said, citing a Reuters/Ipsos poll showing that over one-third of Americans, or 39 percent, believe the election was “rigged.”

“That belief is held by Republicans (67%), Democrats (17%), and Independents (31%),” the Republicans said, noting that some members of Congress disagree, “as do many members of the media.”

“But, whether or not our elected officials or journalists believe it, that deep distrust of our democratic processes will not magically disappear. It should concern us all. And it poses an ongoing threat to the legitimacy of any subsequent administrations,” they continued, explaining that, in an ideal world, the courts “would have heard evidence and resolved these claims of serious election fraud.”

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