Friday, January 1st, 2021
Planned protest in the US Congress
Pro-Trump disruptive action divides Republicans
Donald Trump and his supporters fight against his defeat in the presidential election until the last minute. Republicans are now planning a protest when the election results are announced in Congress, party colleagues call it “dangerous”.
The planned disruptive action of several Republicans in the official reading of the results of the US presidential election in Congress on January 6th has met with criticism from within the party. The Republican Senator Ben Sasse described the plans of several party colleagues to object to the election results at the congressional session as “dangerous”. According to estimates from the ranks of the party, more than 100 Republicans from the House of Representatives could participate in the action. However, this should only drag the procedure out. The victory of Democrat Joe Biden in the presidential election cannot be shaken.
The incumbent President Donald Trump lost the election at the beginning of November by a clear margin to his Democratic challenger Biden. However, Trump has so far refused to admit defeat. The Republican claims he was defeated by massive fraud. Neither Trump nor his lawyers have provided any substantive evidence to support these claims. More than 50 lawsuits from the Trump camp have so far been thrown out of courts, including the US Supreme Court.
In a post that Sasse published on Facebook on Thursday, the senator tore up the election fraud allegations of Trump and his supporters. There is no evidence of this. “The President and his allies are playing with fire.” In internal talks he had heard from “not a single” Republican in Congress that there was any doubt about the election result. They only cared about how they would be in front of Trump’s most ardent supporters.
Action probably only leads to delays
The state electors have confirmed Biden’s clear victory. In the next step of the formal post-election process, the House of Representatives and the Senate will meet on January 6th to read and count the votes from the states and officially announce the final result. Then it is official who has won the election.
A group of Republican MPs from the House of Representatives and Republican Senator Josh Hawley announced that they would appeal the results from individual states that day. This enables them to force both chambers of congress to withdraw to separate sessions in order to debate the objection and, at the end of the day, vote on whether to accept it or reject it.
Only if at least one member of the House of Representatives and at least one senator raise such an objection in writing will this process be started. And only if, in the end, both chambers of congress accept the objection by simple majority vote, this will be successful. Given the majorities in Congress, there is no prospect that the action by Republican politicians will result in more than delays. In the House of Representatives, the Democrats have a majority and can crush an objection on their own.
Pence has to announce the result
Republican MP Adam Kinzinger said he expected around 100 of his House colleagues to appeal. The broadcaster CNN reported, citing two unspecified Republican MPs, they expected a participation of at least 140 party colleagues from the chamber. So far, only Hawley’s support is known in the Senate. Leading Senate Republicans had opposed questioning the election results.
Acting US Vice President Mike Pence will chair the January 6th Congressional session. He has more of a ceremonial role and announces the result at the end. Pence has the uncomfortable task of officially announcing the defeat of his boss Trump.