Senator-elect Tuberville defies McConnell, paves the way for Electoral College challenge in Senate
Senator-elect and former Auburn Football Coach Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) spoke at a rally in Georgia for Senators Perdue and Loeffler indicating that he may challenge the Electoral College votes from several key battleground states in the U.S. Senate in defiance of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Tuberville joins Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) and possibly Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) in this move. Just one GOP senator would need to back Brooks to force the House and Senate to hold debates and vote on the results at a Jan. 6 session.
A number of congressional Republicans led by Brooks are discussing a plan to challenge the results of the election when Congress convenes on Jan. 6 to certify Joe Biden as president. In a video posted by Lauren Windsor, the executive producer of “Undercurrent,” Tuberville appeared to lend his support to the effort.
“We got to grab a hold and hold on. We have no choice. Listen to me now, we have no choice but to win this election. They’re going to try to steal it, they’re going to try to buy it, they’re going to do everything they can, lie, cheat, steal to win this election, like they did in the presidential election,” Tuberville told a crowd in Georgia.
“It’s impossible. It is impossible what happened,” Tuberville said. “But we’re going to get that corrected.”
“I’m gonna tell you: Don’t give up on him,” Tuberville said of Trump. “Don’t give up on him.”
“Are you going to fight to make this election right?” a woman asked Tuberville at the event.
“We’re going to fight hard,” Tuberville responded.
“What can y’all do on January 6th?” she followed up.
“Well, you see what’s coming. You’ve been reading about it in the House. We’re gonna have to, we’re gonna have to do it in the Senate,” Tuberville said.
The congressional procedure for accepting a state’s Electoral College results can be slowed considerably if one member of the House and one member of the Senate each object to recording the electoral votes of a state. That seems to be the plan here.
If objections are raised, each house of Congress will be forced to debate for two hours and then hold a floor vote on whether to accept the results. In the event that the Democratic-controlled House votes one way and the Republican-controlled Senate votes another way, the tie is broken by the governor’s certification in the disputed state.
Earlier this week Tuberville’s campaign chairman had said that the senator-elect might back the Brooks effort.
“I think that he [Tuberville] and Ted Cruz are the two best candidates to do this,” said Stan McDonald, Tuberville’s campaign chairman. “I don’t know yet if or when he will do this. He’s very seriously considering it.”
BREAKING: Defying McConnell, Sen-elect Tuberville suggests he will challenge Electoral College, while stumping in Georgia pic.twitter.com/1z5wJ2ajVP
— Lauren Windsor (@lawindsor) December 17, 2020
Brooks has been pushing to challenge the results of the Electoral College in Congress.
“I find it unfathomable that anyone would acquiesce to election theft and voter fraud because they lack the courage to take a difficult vote on the House or Senate floor,” Brooks told Politico in an interview. “Last time I checked, that’s why we were elected to Congress.”
Until this week, it has been unclear whether any Republican senators would join with Brooks and his House colleagues. On Tuesday during a phone call, Mitch McConnell warned Republican senators that challenging the Electoral College would result in a “terrible vote” because they would have to vote the challenge down and appear to side against President Trump. He also said the effort would fail.
In a private call, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned GOP senators not to join a floor fight to support President Trump’s extended assault on the election. Congress convenes Jan. 6 to confirm the Electoral College's choice of Joe Biden. https://t.co/nXihv4Y74b
— The Associated Press (@AP) December 16, 2020
Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) waffled when indicating whether she would join the effort. She faces a tough runoff election in Georgia on Jan. 5 and on Wednesday told reporters she hadn’t decided whether she would challenge the election if she wins.
“I haven’t looked at it,” she said. “Jan. 6 is a long way out and there’s a lot to play out between now and then.”
The president wants Republicans to fight for this election. On Wednesday Trump told McConnell via a tweet that it is “too soon to give up,” despite the election results being certified by every state and the Electoral College officially selecting Biden to be the next president of the United States.
Trump's allies slam Mitch McConnell for congratulating Biden https://t.co/ak9nu6420L via @MailOnline. Mitch, 75,000,000 VOTES, a record for a sitting President (by a lot). Too soon to give up. Republican Party must finally learn to fight. People are angry!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 16, 2020
The effort is a longshot. Even if Tuberville or Loeffler were to object, there are not enough votes in the Senate to toss the election results from not one, but several states Trump would need to overcome Biden’s 306-232 lead in the Electoral College. But optics matter here and many believe a party not willing to fight hard for their own is not long for this world. The alleged fraud has destroyed Americans’ inherent trust in our election process and Brooks, Tuberville, and other Republicans are attempting to rectify that.