On Wednesday, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) announced that he planned to object to electoral vote totals when Congress meets to confirm the electoral college outcome on January 6. In order to sustain an objection and move to debate, at least one member of both houses of Congress has to back the effort — and Trump allies in the U.S. House have already announced their plans to object. After debate on the matter concludes, each chamber votes on the question of accepting the electoral vote totals, and there’s no indication that anywhere close to a majority of either chamber will vote against eventually confirming the results.
In the time since Election Day, top Republicans including the outgoing president himself have spread lies about the electoral process, claiming that fraud swung the election to Biden. Significant portions of Trump’s base have taken the fraud lies seriously, and in his Wednesday statement announcing his decision to challenge the outcome, Hawley cited widespread Republican concern about election fraud as an excuse for his stunt, failing to acknowledge that many of these voters became convinced of the existence of fraud in the first place because of leaders’ rhetoric.
Hawley also insisted that states including Pennsylvania conclusively violated their own states’ election laws while handling the presidential race, but this claim isn’t proven. Across the country, judges have rejected claims from the president and his allies that local authorities were out of bounds in their conducting of the election.
Nevertheless, Hawley commented as follows:
‘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. 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.’
Read his comments below:
Millions of voters concerned about election integrity deserve to be heard. I will object on January 6 on their behalf pic.twitter.com/kTaaPPJGHE
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) December 30, 2020
To be clear: ex-U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr, a preeminent agency at the Department of Homeland Security, and local election officials of both major parties from around the country have all confirmed that there’s no evidence of election outcome-altering fraud. Judges across the country, including a slew of Trump’s own appointees, have rejected claims from the president and his allies. Every single state has certified its election results. What exactly would Hawley want Congress to “investigate”? What he is proposing would amount to political theater, because there is no indication of any hint of legitimacy to the systematic fraud claims.
Hawley’s insistence that Facebook and Twitter meddled in the election on behalf of Biden is laughable. Facebook provided a platform for massive advertising from the Trump campaign, while Twitter facilitated Trump’s direct communication with observers via his personal account. Recently, Twitter has placed some very rudimentary fact-checks alongside some of Trump’s glaring lies about the election, but these fact-checks simply do not somehow amount to retroactive election meddling on Biden’s behalf, in any respect.