Mo Brooks planning to challenge Electoral College votes

Republican Rep. Mo Brooks (Ala.) on Wednesday told reporters that he plans to challenge the Electoral College votes when Congress meets to certify the election for President-elect Joe Biden on Jan. 6. 

Brooks confirmed his plans to The Hill, repeating President Trump’s claims without evidence that the 2020 election had widespread cases of voter fraud. Politico first reported the news. 

“I’m doing this because in my judgment this is the worst election theft in the history of the United States. And if there was a way to determine the Electoral College outcome using only lawful votes cast by eligible American citizens, then Donald Trump won the Electoral College,” he told The Hill in an interview.

“I’m not focused on what is in the legal pleadings in all these lawsuits all over the country. There’s some number of votes that probably were illegal in some different places to some degree. That is not that abnormal,” he added.

The Alabama Republican said he believes the issue extends beyond the court cases filed by the Trump campaign, arguing that Congress is better suited to look into the matter. 

“It is extremely difficult in a court of law to determine how many illegal votes were cast and who they were cast for. And that is one of the reasons why the FBI, the Justice Department and the federal judiciary are wholly inadequate for handling this issue,” he said.  

“And also one of the reasons why the writers of the United States Constitution determined that it would be unwise for federal courts that even the Supreme Court to be the arbiter,” he added.  

Brooks argued there are “much broader, much bigger systemic flaws with America’s election system.” 

“Number one is the 1993 national voter rights act that was rammed through Congress by a Democratic House and a Democratic Senate and signed by a Democratic president over the objection of Republican congressmen and Republican senators,” he said.

“The chief evil in that legislation is that it makes it illegal for voter registrars to require proof of citizenship before allowing someone to register to vote. So that in and of itself opens the floodgates for illegal aliens and other noncitizens to register to vote,” he added.

Brooks also said he sees voter ID laws as an area that needs to be strengthened.

While accusations of voter fraud have emerged from a number of Republicans, little evidence has been put forward backing the claims. 

“There’s zero evidence of even dozens, let alone millions, of non citizens voting in this or any other election,” David Becker, the executive director of the Center for Election Innovation & Research, told Politifact. 

Brooks would not disclose “any direct or indirect communications” with senators or their staffs but is actively seeking a lawmaker in the upper chamber to join his efforts. He also said he has not been in contact with the White House to discuss the move. 

The lawmaker, also a member of the conservative Freedom Caucus, told Politico that he has discussed the procedural maneuver with some members of GOP leadership, but they did not give him a “thumbs-up” or a “thumbs-down.” 

The congressman said he may still object to the vote if no others decide to join him, acknowledging it would serve as a symbolic protest rather than a forceful challenge to the election result. 

The Trump ally has repeatedly come to the president’s defense in claiming Biden had an “unlawful victory,” writing in a Nov. 7 tweet, “There’s no way I’ll vote in the House to ratify the Electoral College votes of states where illegal votes distorted the will of the people in those states who voted legally.”

Several courts have thrown out lawsuits from Trump’s legal team alleging voter fraud and voting irregularities, ruling there is no evidence to substantiate these claims. 

The news comes as Sen. John Thune (S.D.), the No. 2 Senate Republican, told reporters Wednesday that he found it unlikely that someone would object to elector certification. 

“I can’t imagine that that would ever happen,” Thune said, adding that while a Republican “could” stand up and object, he doubted “that goes anywhere.” 

“This is a process that’s well established,” he continued. 

However, Norman Ornstein from Washington, D.C.-based think tank American Enterprise Institute told reporters on a call Wednesday that while he thinks there is a likelihood that at least one House member and one Senator will come forward to challenge a slate of electors, he does not believe it will have any substantial impact on the election result. 

“What happens is the House and Senate meet together, and if there’s a challenge, they go back to their respective chambers and resolve the issue,” Ornstein explained. “That can happen pretty quickly. I would think it would not have significant debate, although it could have some debate before you get votes.” 

He added that he does not suspect debates will go on longer than a day, adding that “the likelihood of having a sizable number who would vote against a slate of electors making a difference in the outcome I think is extremely unlikely.”

“It’s just a question of how long it gets dragged out,” Ornstein said. 

Jordain Carney contributed to this report.

Tags 2020 election Donald Trump Electoral College electors House Joe Biden John Thune Mo Brooks Politico Senate voter fraud claims

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