Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley on Wednesday became the first Republican senator to announce he will object when Congress counts the Electoral College votes next week.
Congress is scheduled to convene on January 6 and the rules dictate that for an objection to be considered, a member from the House and the Senate must lodge an objection in writing.
More than thirty Republican House members, including Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) are expected to object to the results as well.
The challenges will force lawmakers in both the House and Senate to debate on whether to accept the results of the Electoral College.
President Donald Trump has been urging Congress to vote on an alternate slates of Trump-supporting electors after rejecting the certified results of the presidential election declaring Joe Biden the winner.
The president made historic gains in 2020, earning the most popular votes of any sitting president in U.S. history. He was also named the most admired man in 2020, according to an annual survey by Gallup, upending former President Barack Obama’s 12-year run.
Hawley, who is a Constitutional lawyer, released a statement on Twitter Wednesday morning which shook the political world.
“Following both the 2004 and 2016 elections, Democrats in Congress objected during the certification of electoral votes in order to raise concerns about election integrity,” said Hawley. “They were praised by Democratic leadership and the media when they did. And they were entitled to do so. But now those of us concerned about the integrity of this election are entitled to do the same,” he noted.
“I cannot vote to certify the electoral college results on January 6 without raising the fact that some states, particularly Pennsylvania, failed to follow their own state election laws. And I cannot vote to certify without pointing out the unprecedented effort of mega corporations, including Facebook and Twitter, to interfere in this election, in support of Joe Biden. At the very least, Congress should investigate allegations of voter fraud and adopt measures to secure the integrity of our elections. But Congress has so far failed to act,” Hawley continued.
“For these reasons, I will follow the same practice Democrat members of Congress have in years past and object during the certification process on January 6 to raise these critical issues.”
Hawley publicly defied Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who has privately counseled Senate Republicans not to join the group of House members who are planning to raise objections to avoid a messy floor fight.
Senate Majority Whip John Thune also told CNN last Monday, “I think the thing they got to remember is it’s not going anywhere. I mean, in the Senate, it would go down like a shot dog.” He predicted that any objections will fail to garner the support of the majority in both Houses.
“I just don’t think it makes a lot of sense to put everybody through this when you know what the ultimate outcome is going to be.”