Sabtu, 02 Januari 2021

US senator Ted Cruz leads likely futile Republican push to object to Joe Biden's win - ABC News

US senator Ted Cruz says he will spearhead a drive by nearly a dozen Republican senators to challenge president-elect Joe Biden's victory when electoral college results are tallied in Congress on January 6.

Mr Cruz's effort — a largely symbolic move that has virtually no chance of preventing Mr Biden from taking office — is in defiance of Senate Republican leaders, who have argued the Senate's role in certifying the election is largely ceremonial and had been looking to avoid an extended debate on the floor about the outcome.

In a statement, Mr Cruz, the US senator from Texas, and the other 10 senators said they intended to vote to reject electors from states that had been at the centre of President Donald Trump's unproven assertions of election fraud.

They said Congress should immediately appoint a commission to conduct an emergency 10-day audit of election results in those states.

It was not immediately clear which states would be subject to the proposed audit, Mr Cruz's office said.

Mr Biden's transition team did not immediately respond to a request for comment. He is set to be sworn into office on January 20.

A composite image of Donald Trump and Joe Biden
Mr Biden beat Mr Trump by 306-232 electoral college votes.(Reuters: Brian Snyder/AP: Julio Cortez)

'A political stunt'

Derek Muller, a law professor at the University of Iowa, said the push for an audit was a "political stunt" that would not affect the outcome of the election.

He said while the 1887 law governing how politicians validated the election was murky, most scholars believed Congress lacked the legal authority to require the audit.

"Even if lawmakers had that power, a majority of both chambers would need to support the audit, and there is virtually no chance of the proposal having that level of support," he said.

Mr Biden beat Mr Trump by a 306-232 margin in the electoral college.

A woman wearing a face mask and sunglasses holds up a sign that says the voters have spoken
Legal challenges by Mr Trump and his allies have failed.(AP: Morry Gash)

Under the electoral college system, "electoral votes" are allotted to states and the District of Columbia based on their congressional representation.

Mr Trump has been encouraging Republicans to prevent Mr Biden from taking office, although there is no viable mechanism for them to do so.

Legal challenges by Mr Trump and his allies in the courts to overturn the election results have met with resounding failure.

On Friday, a federal judge threw out a lawsuit brought by one representative, Louie Gohmert, that sought to allow Vice-President Mike Pence, who presides over the Congressional tally, to declare Mr Trump the victor on January 6.

Supporters of President Donald Trump hold US flags and a sign saying 'Stop Biden stealing the election'.
Mr Trump has been encouraging Republicans to prevent Mr Biden from taking office.(AP: Ringo H.W. Chiu)

The effort by Mr Cruz and other Republicans comes days after US senator Josh Hawley of Missouri became the first sitting member of the Senate to announce he would challenge the election result.

A number of Republicans in the US House of Representatives also plan on contesting the vote tally.

Mr Cruz was joined in the statement by senators Ron Johnson, James Lankford, Steve Daines, John Kennedy, Marsha Blackburn, Mike Braun, along with senators-elect Cynthia Lummis, Tommy Tuberville, Bill Hagerty, and Roger Marshall, all of whom will be sworn in as senators on Sunday in the new Congress.

Several Republicans senators have said they do not support any effort to derail the certification of the electoral college vote.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Senate's top Republican, acknowledged Mr Biden's victory on December 15. He has urged other Senate Republicans to refrain from objecting on January 6.

In Senator Cruz's statement, the senators said they did not necessarily expect their gambit to succeed.

"We are not naive. We fully expect most if not all Democrats, and perhaps more than a few Republicans, to vote otherwise," they said.


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2021-01-03 00:32:00Z

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