DETROIT – A showdown is brewing in the U.S Senate over next week’s certification of electoral votes that favor President-elect Joe Biden.
The Electoral College officially confirmed Biden as the nation’s next president on Dec. 14 following several efforts by President Trump and his campaign to alter the results of the November election.
Now, several news outlets are reporting that a dozen Republican senators and senators-elect are joining together in a last-ditch effort to overturn those election results just ahead of Congress’ meeting on Jan. 6 to count the Electoral College votes and certify Biden’s win.
The group of Republican senators are demanding a commission to audit the results of the 2020 presidential election -- an election that they falsely claim was fraudulent. The group says that if the 10-day audit isn’t granted, they will object to the Electoral College votes that have declared Biden the president-elect.
The 11 senators largely acknowledged Saturday they will not succeed in preventing Biden from being inaugurated on Jan. 20 after he won the Electoral College 302-232. But their challenges, and those from House Republicans, represent the most sweeping effort to undo a presidential election outcome since the Civil War.
There has been no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 presidential election; in fact, a range of nonpartisan election officials and Republicans have confirmed there was no fraud in the November contest that would change the results of the election. That includes former Attorney General William Barr, who said he saw no reason to appoint a special counsel to look into President Trump’s claims about the 2020 election. Officials have actually declared this election among the most secure elections in American history.
Michigan Republicans are joining the last-ditch effort to overturn the election results. A group of activists who call themselves “Electors for President Trump” are signing onto a now-dismissed lawsuit in Texas that was suing Vice President Mike Pence in an effort to grant him power to count their unofficial votes for Trump.
Among this group of activists are Marian Sheridan, a top official with the Michigan GOP; Michele Lundgren, a former congressional candidate for the Independent Party and Meshawn Maddock, a prominent Trump campaign worker in Michigan and wife of Milford Representative Matt Maddock.
More than 100 Republican House members from the so-called Kraken Caucus are also expected to object to the presidential election results next week.
Not a single member of that caucus from Michigan responded to questions about how they would vote at the congressional meeting next week.
This week, Democratic Senator Gary Peters called objections to the election results deliberate attempts to undermine trust in American elections.
“When you undermine trust in a democracy ... this is an incredibly dangerous stunt they are performing and it should be called out,” Peters said.
Trump and his allies have filed roughly 50 lawsuits challenging election results, and nearly all have been dismissed or dropped. He’s also lost twice at the Supreme Court.
A growing number of Republican lawmakers are joining President Donald Trump’s extraordinary effort to overturn the election, pledging to reject the results when Congress meets next week to count the Electoral College votes and certify President-elect Joe Biden’s win.
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas on Saturday announced a coalition of 11 senators who have been enlisted for Trump’s effort to subvert the will of American voters.
This follows the declaration from Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri, who was the first to buck Senate leadership by saying he would join with House Republicans in objecting to the state tallies during Wednesday’s joint session of Congress.
Trump’s refusal to accept his defeat is tearing the party apart as Republicans are forced to make consequential choices that will set the contours of the post-Trump era. Hawley and Cruz are both among potential 2024 presidential contenders.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had urged his party not to try to overturn what nonpartisan election officials have concluded was a free and fair vote.