WASHINGTON (AP) — A coalition of 11 Republican senators announced Saturday it will challenge the outcome of the presidential election by voting to reject electors from some states when Congress meets next week to certify the Electoral College results that confirmed President-elect Joe Biden won.
President Donald Trump’s extraordinary refusal to accept his election defeat and the effort to subvert the will of the voters has become a defining moment for Republicans and is tearing the party apart. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has urged Republican not to try to overturn the election.
The 11 senators, led by Ted Cruz of Texas, said they will vote against certain state electors unless Congress appoints an electoral commission to immediately conduct an audit of the election results. They acknowledged they are unlikely to change the results of the election.
The group includes Senators Ted Cruz, R-Texas; Ron Johnson, R-Wis., James Lankford, R-Okla.; Steve Daines, R -Mont.; John Kennedy, R-La.; Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.; and Mike Braun, R-Ind., along with Senators-Elect Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo.; Roger Marshal R-Kan.,; Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn.; and Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala.
“We intend to vote on January 6 to reject the electors from disputed states as not ‘regularly given’ and ‘lawfully certified’ (the statutory requisite), unless and until that emergency 10-day audit is completed,” they wrote in the statement.
“We do not take this action lightly,” they said.
The statement can be found in its entirety here.
The announcement comes after 24 Louisiana state representatives released a letter sent jointly to the Republican members of the congressional delegation, asking them to reject Biden/Harris electors from Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Among others, the letter was addressed to Rep. Clay Higgins, who announced earlier this week that he will object to the certification of votes, and Sen. John Kennedy, who is included in the coalition led by Sen. Cruz.
Read the full letter sent to the congressional delegation below:
In response to Trump’s unfounded claims of voter fraud, bipartisan election officials and Trump’s then-Attorney General William Barr have said there was no evidence of widespread fraud and the election ran smoothly.
The House and Senate will assemble for a joint session on January 6 to count the electoral votes that have been submitted by each state.
The days ahead are expected to do little to change the outcome. Biden is set to be inaugurated Jan. 20 after winning the Electoral College vote 306-232.
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