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Vice President Mike Pence said he welcomes efforts by lawmakers to challenge Electoral College results in the upcoming congressional joint session on Jan. 6, when the votes are formally counted, according to a new statement.
Chief of staff to the vice president Marc Short issued the statement to reporters on Saturday saying that Pence, who will be presiding over the Jan. 6 session as president of the senate, is open to considering planned objections by Republican House members and senators to Electoral College votes cast for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
Short added that the vice president also welcomes efforts by lawmakers to present evidence of election irregularities and voter fraud before Congress during that session.
“Vice President Pence shares the concerns of millions of Americans about voter fraud and irregularities in the last election,” Short said in the statement sent to media outlets.
The allegations of fraud and irregularities in the 2020 election “exceed any in our lifetimes,” they said, adding that this “deep distrust” of U.S. democratic processes “will not magically disappear” and “should concern us all,” whether or not elected officials or journalist believe the allegations.
“It poses an ongoing threat to the legitimacy of any subsequent administrations,” the senators wrote in their statement while calling on Congress to appoint an electoral commission to conduct an emergency 10-day audit of the election results.
Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz has joined the effort with about a dozen Republican senators that will raise objections on Jan. 6 to Joe Biden’s election victory.
Cruz and 10 other Republican senators or senators-elect said in a statement they would raise objections in Congress on Jan. 6.
It is when Congress is required by the U.S. Constitution to meet and accept the results of the Electoral College, a gathering that is typically a formality.
The statement calls for a delay of certification, and a 10-day investigation into accusations of wrongdoing.
“Congress should immediately appoint an Electoral Commission, with full investigatory and fact-finding authority, to conduct an emergency 10-day audit of the election returns in the disputed states. Once completed, individual states would evaluate the Commission’s findings and could convene a special legislative session to certify a change in their vote, if needed.
“Accordingly, 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.”
According to a joint statement released Saturday, joining Cruz are: Sens. 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.; as well as Sens.-elect Cynthia Lummis; R-Wyo.; Roger Marshall, R-Kan.; Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn.; and Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala.
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., has already said he will object, teeing up a lengthy process on Jan. 6 that is unlikely to stop the results but might splinter the GOP.
Alabama GOP Rep. Mo Brooks revealed that House Republicans do not plan to stay quiet when the time comes to challenge the results of the election.
Alabama Republican Sen.-elect Tommy Tuberville is also on board with challenging the Electoral College votes.