Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is warning his Republican colleagues in the Senate not to engage in an effort to undermine the Electoral College vote that took place earlier this week, reportedly telling members of the GOP in a private meeting that an extended fight over the presidency would cost them support.
“First, the Republican leader heaped praise on Trump’s ‘endless’ accomplishments as he congratulated President-elect Joe Biden during a morning Senate speech,” the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported Wednesday. “Then he pivoted, privately warning Republican senators away from disputing the Electoral College tally when Congress convenes in a joint session Jan. 6 to confirm the results.”
Although President Donald Trump has pledged to continue challenging the results of November’s presidential election, on the theory that widespread, coordinated vote fraud efforts handed the victory to Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden, McConnell warned Senate Republicans to avoid the issue or risk putting control of the Senate in jeopardy.
The fight, McConnell reportedly said, would result in a “terrible vote” in Georgia where two Republicans are battling to keep Senate seats in GOP hands. If the two Georgia seats go to Democrats, Republicans lose the Senate majority and even votes would presumably be decided by then-Vice President Kamala Harris.
McConnell appears to have specific concerns about the upcoming January 6th vote in Congress to affirm and accept the result of Monday’s Electoral College vote.
‘Mr. McConnell and his top deputies pleaded with their colleagues not to join members of the House in objecting to the election results on Jan. 6, when Congress meets to ratify the Electoral College’s decision, according to three people familiar with the conversation, who described it on the condition of anonymity,” The New York Times added.
Alabama Republican Rep. Mo Brooks is leading an effort to object to the final Electoral College vote over concerns that results in five key states — Arizona, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Georgia, and Wisconsin — are tainted by vote fraud. The Trump campaign and its allies have raised similar concerns, largely in legal filings aimed at decertifying election results from those states.
Brooks plans to take part in a last-ditch effort to overturn the Electoral College vote, formally objecting to the results as allowed under the Constitution and the Electoral Count Act of 1887.
“We have a superior role under the Constitution than the Supreme Court does, than any federal court judge does, than any state court judge does,” Brooks said last week. “What we say, goes. That’s the final verdict.”
In order to have any success — or even to bring the issue to the floor for debate — Brooks must have the signature of at least one Senator. So far, no Republican Senator has agreed to be part of Brooks’ effort, and McConnell, it seems, aims to keep it that way.
“In seeking to prevent anyone from [joining Brooks], Mr. McConnell argued that a challenge would force senators to go on the record either defying Mr. Trump or rejecting the will of the voters, potentially harming those running for election in 2022,” the NYT added, noting that McConnell is enlisting senior Republican Senators to enforce his position. “He dispatched his top deputy, Senator John Thune of South Dakota, to lobby lawmakers one by one.”