House conservatives huddle at White House to plan challenging election results

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.)
Greg Nash

A group of House conservatives gathered at the White House on Monday to discuss a long-shot challenge to the congressional count of electoral votes on Jan. 6. 

The meeting comes as President Trump has ramped up his calls for GOP lawmakers to join in the efforts, with the White House and a number of Republicans reiterating unfounded claims of mass voter fraud at the top of the ticket. 

Roughly a dozen lawmakers, led by Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), met with Trump, Vice President Pence and Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani to discuss a path forward on objecting to the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory when the new Congress gathers early next month. 

Brooks said a growing number of members are looking to support their efforts. 

“It’s pretty clear that the momentum is growing in support of the objections to states’ submittals of Electoral College votes because of their flawed election systems and render them unworthy of trust,” he told reporters on Monday evening. 

“We now in the House side are up to dozens of congressmen who are willing to object or co-sponsor objections to various states’ submittals, so we have more congressmen than we have states to object to,” Brooks said. “On the Senate side, I think the question is now becoming not whether there will be a senator who is objecting [but] rather … how many senators join in the objections”

While it is unclear if a senator will agree to move forward with Brooks’s plan, Sen.-elect Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) has publicly expressed an openness to the idea despite Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) recognizing Biden as the president-elect and asking his members not to join in Brooks’s push.  

Proponents of the long-shot plan to challenge the election results argue the move could provide them with the opportunity to present the president’s case. 

Brooks said he expected the president’s legal team would provide purported evidence, including affidavits “that supports voter fraud and election theft.”

Trump has repeatedly made claims that widespread voter fraud cost him the election, but he and his legal team have been unable to provide evidence. Judges have repeatedly rejected the argument that the election was stolen from him.

The Electoral College certified the election results in favor of Biden on Dec. 14, and several top Republican lawmakers, including McConnell, have publicly acknowledged the former vice president’s win.

Though several House Republicans have said they are backing Brooks’s effort, to successfully force a debate and vote on Brook’s objection, he’ll need support from at least one GOP senator. 

If both a House member and senator object, the two chambers would have to meet separately, debate the issue for a maximum of two hours in each chamber and then have a majority in both chambers vote to uphold the objection to a state’s slate, according to the Congressional Research Service.

A lawmaker has never been able to successfully throw out a state’s results.

Jordain Carney contributed.

Updated 11:35 p.m.

Tags Donald Trump Joe Biden Mike Pence Mitch McConnell Mo Brooks Rudy Giuliani

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