“I would think there will be more, but it can’t be,” said Hawley.
Hawley, who said he alerted GOP leaders before revealing his intentions, also declined to say how many states he would challenge. “We’ll see, we’re working on the logistics,” he said.
Senate Republican leaders, including McConnell, have issued stern warnings not to contest the election as it would divide the party and be viewed as a referendum on Trump. The president has already come after John Thune (R-S.D.), The Senate majority whip, for his warnings that if a Senator moves with House members to force votes, efforts would decline like a “shot dog”.
When asked if he expected to be less popular at the conference, Hawley replied, “More than I already am?”
However, Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) sharply opposed Hawley’s efforts.
“I don’t think he will prevail in his search. And I wonder why he is doing this when the courts unanimously dismissed the lawsuits brought by the president’s team for lack of credible evidence, ”she said. “And Sen. Hawley is a smart attorney who worked for the Supreme Court, so he clearly understands. So I don’t understand “
Collins said she would “absolutely” vote to confirm the choice, “unless there is a very unexpected revelation that I cannot imagine will occur.”
Before Hawley’s announcement, all eyes were on Senator-elect Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), Who had signaled his readiness to support a challenge to Biden’s victory. Trump had praised Tuberville and beaten other Republicans as “weak” and threatened to end Thune’s political career, telling reporters that all challenges were doomed.
Other GOP senators shook off Hawley’s plans on Wednesday. Some said the evidence of the election results change simply wasn’t there.
“My plan at this point is to vote for the electoral college vote,” said Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.). “There isn’t enough to turn that around.”
“We’ll see what he has to say, but I think the election is over, even though I didn’t like the election result,” said Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.).
Others said they would see what Hawley comes up with in support of his challenge.
“I’m curious about the evidence they have,” said Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas). “I was a judge for 13 years. I’m used to making decisions based on facts and evidence, but I haven’t heard it before.”
The traditional rules of the January 6th session – a joint session of the House and Senate – require a single House member and Senator to join forces to submit a challenge. In this case, the branches must separate and discuss the challenge before resuming the joint session.
Dozens of Republicans in the House have pledged to question the results but have yet to secure the unequivocal support of a Senator.
Only a handful of elected Republicans – including Illinois MP Adam Kinzinger who has become a prominent critic of Trump’s efforts to flip the election results – openly criticized Hawley. In one “Internal monologue” certificate For Hawley, Kinzinger envisioned the Senator saying, “I want to be president, so I decided to get a POTUS tweet saying I’m great even though I know this is going nowhere, but hey … I’m going to blame someone. ” otherwise if it fails. “
The House Republicans, who had already pledged to challenge the results, celebrated Hawley’s announcement, declaring it evidence of a “controversial election,” even though there was no evidence of fraud or wrongdoing affecting the results in any state.
The rules governing these challenges are due to be passed on January 3rd. However, at least some Republicans have endorsed legal efforts to scrap the rules altogether and authorize Vice President Mike Pence, who will chair the session, to unilaterally institute electoral support for Trump.
House Democrats have questioned the results of the 2000, 2004, and 2016 elections, but it wasn’t until after the 2004 election that a female senator – California-based Barbara Boxer – joined the challenge. That year, the Democrats rejected the Ohio election vote, which forced a two-hour debate and was ultimately defeated by a wide margin.
Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Whose Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee held a hearing on Dec. 16 to reinforce unsupported allegations of electoral irregularity, told reporters he would support Hawley’s election contest but would not say whether he did so would contradict the results themselves.
“There is no reason for more people to object. All it takes is one, “said Johnson.” But I will support his efforts and support the conference’s efforts to weigh the issues, as I did in the hearing. We have to, we can’t just close our eyes like the Democrats want, just shut up and move on. This is not a sustainable state for our country. So I have no problem with the process. ”