Johnson, Lee don't plan to challenge Electoral College results

Two key allies to President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump takes shot at new GOP candidate in Ohio over Cleveland nickname GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default MORE in the Senate say they do not plan to challenge the Electoral College results when Congress meets to certify the election on Jan. 6, dealing a blow to the president’s long-shot efforts to overturn the outcome.

Sens. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonLiberal group launches campaign urging Republicans to support Biden's agenda Domestic extremists return to the Capitol GOP senator: Buying Treasury bonds 'foolish' amid standoff over debt ceiling, taxes MORE (R-Wis.) and Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeGraham found Trump election fraud arguments suitable for 'third grade': Woodward book Economy adds just 235K jobs in August as delta hammers growth Lawmakers flooded with calls for help on Afghanistan exit MORE (R-Utah) do not currently plan to join an effort spearheaded by Rep. Mo BrooksMorris (Mo) Jackson BrooksWatchdog group seeks ethics probe over McCarthy's Jan. 6 comments Jan. 6 panel seeks records of those involved in 'Stop the Steal' rally Jan. 6 panel to ask for preservation of phone records of GOP lawmakers who participated in Trump rally: report MORE (R-Ala.) to throw out election totals in five battleground states.

A spokesman for Lee told The Hill that the senator has “no plan to do so.”


Johnson, the Homeland Security chairman who is overseeing a hearing Wednesday about election fraud, told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that something new would have to surface that would “call into question the legitimacy of the election” for him to join the House Republicans advocating for a revolt.

There are still a few conservative senators who have not made their intentions known. The Hill has reached out to the offices of Sens. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulWhite House debates vaccines for air travel Senate lawmakers let frustration show with Blinken Rand Paul: 'Hatred for Trump' blocking research into ivermectin as COVID-19 treatment MORE (R-Ky.), Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzPoll: Trump dominates 2024 Republican primary field Republican politicians: Let OSHA do its job O'Rourke prepping run for governor in Texas: report MORE (R-Texas) and Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleySenators slow Biden with holds at Pentagon, State Overnight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right MORE (R-Mo.) requesting comment.

Sen. Mike BraunMichael BraunRepublicans unveil bill to ban federal funding of critical race theory Earmarks, the swamp's favorite tool, return to Washington Senate in talks to quickly pass infrastructure bill MORE (R-Ind.) has said he is disappointed by the election results and believes there was some fraud that should be investigated. But he said the fraud wasn't enough to alter the outcome and that it is time to "put aside politics and respect the constitutional process that determines the winner of our presidential election."

At the Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing about election fraud Wednesday, Paul signaled he might be open to joining the effort.

“The fraud happened, the election was in many ways stolen, and the only way it will be fixed will be by in the future reinforcing the laws,” Paul said.


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 McConnell privately urged GOP senators to oppose debt ceiling hike On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default MORE (R-Ky.) recognized Biden as the 2020 victor for the first time Tuesday following the Electoral College certification of the vote.

McConnell has urged his caucus not to join Brooks or any other House Republican efforts to object to the outcome when Congress gathers to certify the Electoral College count next month.

Even if Brooks is able to find a partner in the Senate, the Democratic-controlled House would certify Biden as the winner, and the GOP-controlled Senate likely would too. In the distant chance that the Senate recognized the objection, the results would be kicked back to the state and the governors would re-certify Biden as the winner.

Trump and his allies continue to make unsubstantiated claims about how the election was stolen from him through widespread fraud. Every legal challenge except for one has been defeated in court. Most recently, the Supreme Court refused to hear a case brought by Texas and joined by more than 100 House Republicans seeking to throw out the results in four states.

Johnson insists that are “legitimate questions” about how the election was conducted and wants a full accounting of alleged “irregularities,” even if he does not intend to try to have the results thrown out.

“All I’m trying to do is hold a very upfront, straightforward hearing talking about what controls there are in place, what fraud does occur, what can we do to prevent fraud in the future,” Johnson told the Journal-Sentinel.