Mitch McConnell declared Joe Biden president-elect Tuesday for the first time, saying ‘the Electoral College has spoken’ and ending any hope Donald Trump had that establishment Republicans will fight to overturn his defeat.
‘Yesterday electors met in all 50 states,’ McConnell said from the Senate floor on Tuesday. ‘So as of this morning our country has officially a president-elect and a vice president-elect.’
‘Many millions of us had hoped the presidential election would yield a different result,’ he continued. ‘But our system of government has processes to determine who will be sworn in on January 20.
He added: ‘The Electoral College has spoken. So today I want to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden.’
Before issuing his congratulations to Biden and vice president-elect Kamala Harris – who currently serves as a Democratic senator to California – McConnell spoke for eight minutes of President Donald Trump’s achievements in his four years as president.
Just minutes after McConnell’s remarks, Trump issued yet another tweet lamenting of alleged ‘voter fraud’.
‘Tremendous evidence pouring in on voter fraud. There has never been anything like this in our Country!’ he posted.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, while speaking on the Senate floor Tuesday, for the first time called Joe Biden the president-elect following the Electoral College cementing his victory. ‘The Electoral College has spoken. So today I want to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden’
Minutes after McConnell’s remarks, President Donald Trump sent a tweet lamenting of ‘tremendous evidence’ of alleged ‘voter fraud’
Trump posted an article sharing Representative Mo Brooks’ comments claiming ‘Trump won the Electoral College.’ Brooks, who represents Alabama, has said he will officially challenge the Electoral College votes when Congress moves to certify the election for Biden on January 6
The president also posted another tweet with a repeated claim from Representative Mo Brooks, who says he will officially challenge the Electoral College vote on January 6 – when Congress moves to certify the election for Biden.
‘I’m quite confident that if we only counted lawful votes cast by eligible American citizens, Donald Trump won the Electoral College, and we should not be counting illegal votes and putting in an illegitimate President of the United States,’ Brooks said in an article reposted by the president.
Brooks said he wouldn’t be part of the GOP ‘surrender caucus’ by saying Biden won.
McConnell also lauded during his remarks that the country would have its first ever female vice president in Senator Harris.
‘I also want to congratulate the vice president-elect – our colleague from California, Senator Harris. Beyond our differences, all Americans can take pride in that our nation has a female vice president-elect for the very first time,’ McConnell concluded with a smile.
The top Senate Republican on Tuesday joined a handful of other GOP lawmakers who on Monday finally acknowledged Biden won the election over Trump following the electors casting their votes.
‘I understand there are people who feel strongly about the outcome of this election,’ the second ranking Senate Republican John Thune of South Dakota said on Monday, according to Politico.
‘But in the end at some point you have to face the music. And I think that once the Electoral College settles the issue today, it’s time for everybody to move on,’ the Senate Majority Whip continued.
Electors officially cast their votes for their respective states for president on Monday, cementing Biden’s victory with 306 Electoral College votes to Trump’s 232.
Hours after the vote, Trump took to Twitter Tuesday morning to revive claims of election fraud and call for Georgia officials who refused to heed his demands to overturn the vote to be jailed.
The president retweeted a photo-shopped image of Georgia’s Republican Governor Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Rathensperger wearing obviously-fake masks with the the Chinese flag on it.
Lawyer Lin Wood, who filed Trump-backing lawsuits that have been snubbed in court, tagged the two men and wrote that Trump gave them ‘every chance to get it right.’
‘They will soon be going to jail,’ he added, in the tweet the president posted.
Both Republican officials, who have voiced support for the president in the past, refused to go along with Trump’s demands to compare ballot signatures to envelopes long after the initial vote, a hand recount and later certification.
His attack comes as Biden heads to Georgia to back the two Democrats in separate Senate runoff elections, which will ultimately determine control of Congress’ upper chamber.
Trump also continued to tweet conspiracy theories about voting machines flipping votes from him to Biden, even after the Supreme Court refused on Friday to hear a case filed by the Texas attorney general to throw out those votes in four swing states Trump lost.
Trump continued to tweet wild conspiracies on Monday, claiming voting machines switched votes from him to Biden
‘Tremendous problems being found with voting machines. They are so far off it is ridiculous,’ Trump tweeted on Tuesday. ‘Able to take a landslide victory and reduce it to a tight loss. This is not what the USA is all about. Law enforcement shielding machines. DO NOT TAMPER, a crime. Much more to come!’
He also revived claims of Michigan witness Mellissa Carone, who claimed the poll books were off by ‘probably’ 100,000 votes. She was later revealed to be off probation after initially being charged with a computer crime, and has previously worked as a stripper.
He said Michigan voting machines were wrong 68 per cent of the time
Trump also retweeted a Twitter user, thanking him by name, and writing: ‘Thanks Kevin. Many Trump votes were routed to Biden. The highly respected Michigan Judge released this epic report. True all over the Country. This Fake Election can no longer stand. Get moving Republicans. Big Swing State Win! 75,000,000 VOTES.’
Twitter flagged the claim about election fraud as ‘disputed.’
Biden said, according to Bloomberg, that seven ‘mostly senior’ GOP lawmakers called him to congratulate him and express their willingness to work with him and his administration where possible.
In one call with ‘one of the most senior members’ in the Senate, Biden said they expressed ‘there’s a lot we can work on,’ including China, the coronavirus pandemic, healthcare and infrastructure.
Not all Republican lawmakers, especially those staunch Trump allies, are as receptive to the new development, claiming there is still a ‘narrow path’ for a victory.
‘Let’s see where the remaining legal challenges go,’ Senator Lindsey Graham said, admitting: ‘But it’s a very narrow path.’
Graham, who chairs the Judiciary Committee, said he is prepared to work with Biden where he can and support some of his nominees – including Lloyd Austin for Defense Secretary, Tony Blinken for Secretary of State and Janet Yellen to head the Treasury Department.
Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma quipped ‘no’ when asked if Biden is the president-elect.
Several Senate Republicans are finally acknowledging Biden’s victory after the vote – and he delivered remarks Monday calling for Trump to ‘respect the will of the people’ after California’s votes put him over the 270 threshold needed to secure the White House
Senate Majority Whip John Thune said ‘it’s time for everybody to move on’, claiming that ‘at some point you have to face the music’
Senator Lindsey Graham, a Trump ally, said, however, that he still thinks there is a ‘very narrow path’ for the president to overturn the results through legal channels
Montana Senator Steve Daines claims Trump has every right to ‘get to the bottom’ of any election discrepancies despite the electors casting their votes. He suggested it would be weeks before he refers to Biden as the president-elect.
‘Every legal vote needs to be counted and every illegal vote needs to be thrown out,’ Daines said. ‘Montana cast three electoral votes for President Trump. We’ll wait now and see if Congress will certify that in January.’
Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson, who chairs the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, is still preparing to hold a hearing this week on ‘irregularities’ in the presidential election.
Other Republicans feel the jig is up and it’s time to move on.
‘There’s clearly a constitutional president-elect,’ Missouri Senator Roy Blunt, the fourth ranking Republican, said.
Senator Rob Portman of Ohio added: ‘The Electoral College vote today makes clear that Joe Biden is now president-elect.’
Wyoming Republican Senator John Barrasso, another member of GOP leadership, acknowledged Biden’s victory, claiming the Electoral College vote changed nothing considering the General Services Administration already ascertained the election for Biden – allowing the transition to commence.
‘Three weeks ago, the transition occurred in terms of … access to the briefings and access to the money,’ he said. ‘That all occurred three weeks ago. So nothing changed. This is the Constitution and I believe in the Constitution.’
He told reporters that being asked if Biden is the ‘president-elect’ is just a ‘gotcha question’ that all Republican senators are being asked.
Before Monday, most Republicans were hesitant to refer to Biden as the ‘president-elect’ as Trump continues to push claims of voter fraud, lamenting the election was ‘rigged’ by Democrats and ‘stolen’ for his Democratic rival.
His campaign and Republican allies are still pursuing legal efforts nationally and at the state level to overturn the election results.
Republican Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia said ‘it’s time to turn the page and begin a new administration – and Senator Mike Rounds of South Dakota agreed: ‘Vice President Biden is the president-elect based on the electoral count.’
Biden delivered a forceful attack on Trump’s barrage of lawsuits and claims of electoral fraud – demanding in a prime-time speech Monday that the ‘will of the people’ be honored after his win was confirmed by the Electoral College.
The new Congress will officially certify Biden’s victory on January 6 – but some Republicans are already planning a last-ditch effort to overturn the results by officially challenging the Electoral College votes. They acknowledge, however, that the move will likely act only as a symbolic protest.
Biden spoke from Wilmington, Delaware on Monday just hours after his win in the Electoral College became official when he passed the 270 Electoral Vote threshold.
Instead of taking a victory lap in the speech, however, he attempted to establish his own legitimacy while simultaneously calling out Trump’s relentless effort to overturn the results.
The remarks were the former vice president’s strongest attack on the sitting president since winning the election last month.
‘Respecting the will of the people is at the heart of our democracy, even if we find those results hard to accept,’ said Biden – alluding to Trump’s refusal to concede or accept the results.
Clearing his hoarse throat repeatedly, Biden teed off on the Trump campaign’s repeated legal defeats, and pointed to Friday’s devastating decision by the Supreme Court.
‘The Trump campaign brought dozens and dozens of legal challenges .. they were heard again and again. And each of the times they were heard they were found to be without merit,’ he said.
He noted his own Electoral College win equaled Trump’s, and at the time, ‘President Trump called the electoral college tally a landslide. By his own standards these numbers represented a clear victory then, and I respectfully suggest they do so now.’
He spoke of the nation’s founding, adding: ‘And we now know, nothing, not even a pandemic, or an abuse of power can extinguish that flame.’
Although Biden has tried to keep his focus on his agenda and on the coronavirus during many of his public remarks since networks called the race for him weeks ago, his Monday speech was an effort to put down a clear marker and establish the legitimacy of election.
It came as a group of influential Republican senators including Senate Majority Whip John Thune of South Dakota Ohio’s Sen. Rob Portman finally began referring to him as ‘president-elect.’
‘In America, politicians don’t take power. People grant power to them,’ Biden said.
He praised ‘courageous state and local officials and election workers’ – a hat tip not only to those who staffed the voting despite the coronavirus, but to Republican officials who withstood Trump’s repeated claims that they take actions to overturn the vote in their states.
He said they showed ‘absolute courage’ and a ‘deep and unwavering faith in, and commitment to, the law.’
‘And they could not and would not give credence to what they knew was not true.’
Although he didn’t name them, officials such as Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffesnperger withstood intense pressure from Trump and his allies to try to influence the outcome.
‘It was truly remarkable because so many of these patriotic Americans were subjected to so much: enormous political pressure, verbal abuse, and even threats of physical violence. While we all wish that our fellow Americans in these positions will always show such courage and commitment to free and fair elections, I hope we never again see anyone subjected to the kind of threats and abuse we saw in this election. It is unconscionable,’ said Biden.
‘The Court sent a clear signal to President Trump and his allies that they would be no part of this unprecedented assault on our democracy,’ he added.
He pointed to former Homeland Security cybersecurity Christopher Krebs, who called the election ‘the most secure in American history’ before he got fired.
The president-elect also took repeated shots at the Kraken lawsuits that Trump and his allies vowed would change the result.
‘In America, when questions are raised about the legitimacy of any election, those questions are resolved through a legal process. And that is precisely what happened here. The Trump campaign brought dozens and dozens and dozens of legal challenges to test the results. They were heard. And they were found to be without merit,’ said Biden.
‘Time and again, President Trump’s lawyers presented their arguments to state officials, state legislatures, state and federal courts, and ultimately to the United States Supreme Court, twice. They were heard by more than 80 judges across the country. And in every case, no cause or evidence was found to reverse or question or dispute the results,’ he said.
Nor did recounts make a difference.
‘The results in Georgia were counted three times,’ he said. ‘It did not change the outcome. The recount conducted in Wisconsin actually saw our margin grow. The margin we had in Michigan was fourteen times the margin President Trump won the state by four years ago.’
President-elect Joe Biden’s hoarse voice and persistent coughing during his speech Monday night sparked concern on social media, but he later clarified that he’s fighting a cold
President-elect Joe Biden insisted he’s fighting a cold after his voice was hoarse and he coughed through his speech Monday night, sparking concern among viewers.
He stopped several times to cough and clear his throat during his speech from Wilmington, Delaware, leading social media users to crack jokes and say ‘Drink some water, Joe. You’re scaring us.’
One Twitter user asked ‘Does Biden need a COVID test?’ and another chimed in ‘Someone get Biden some Robitussin stat!!!’
One doctor tweeted Biden Senior Advisor Karine Jean-Pierre to advise Biden to cough into his inner elbow rather than his hand.
‘Congratulations. But please…please advise President-Elect Biden to cough into the bend of his arm, not into his hand. As a physician, I cringe every time I see that. Please. Practice it ‘prn’ [if needed], but no more coughing into his hand. Set a good example. Thank you,’ Dr. Melody McCloud tweeted.
NPR political correspondent Scott Detrow said it’s normal for Biden to clear his throat and cough in speeches, but noted, ‘That’s the most sustained coughing I’ve heard though.’
In a livestream after his speech Biden insisted a minor cold was to blame saying: ‘Thank you, I have a little bit of a cold, I’m sorry, but look, you know, you did it, you did it, not a joke.’
Biden chose Monday to speak following to crucial developments: the formal meeting of the Electoral College, and the Supreme Court swatting down a lawsuit filed by the attorney general of Texas seeking to overturn the election in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Georgia.
‘And yet none of this has stopped baseless claims about the legitimacy of the results,’ he said.
‘Even more stunning, 17 Republican Attorneys General and 126 Republican Members of Congress actually signed on to a lawsuit filed by the State of Texas.
‘This legal maneuver was an effort by elected officials in one group of states to try to get the Supreme Court to wipe out the votes of more than twenty million Americans in other states and to hand the presidency to a candidate who lost the Electoral College, lost the popular vote, and lost each and every one of the states whose votes they were trying to reverse,’ he said, pointing to Trump’s multiple defeats.
Biden with his wife Dr. Jill Biden before delivering his remarks at the Queen Theatre in Wilmington, Delaware
‘It’s a position so extreme we’ve never seen it before. A position that refused to respect the will of the people, refused to respect the rule of law, and refused to honor our Constitution. Thankfully, a unanimous Supreme Court immediately and completely rejected this effort,’ he said.
With polls showing substantial numbers of Americans doubting the legitimacy of the vote amid Trump’s constant attacks, Biden pointed repeatedly to the numbers of the victory by himself and running-mate Kamala Harris.
‘More than 81 million of those votes were cast for me and Vice President-elect Harris,’ Biden said. ‘This too is a record number. More votes than any ticket has received in the history of America.’
‘It represented a winning margin of more than 7 million votes over the number of votes cast for President Trump and Vice President Pence. Altogether, Vice President-elect Harris and I earned 306 electoral votes — well exceeding the 270 electoral votes needed to secure victory,’ he said.
History gave him a handy number to cite. ‘306 electoral votes is the same number of electoral votes DonaldTrump and MikePence received in 2016. At that time, President Trump called his Electoral College tally a landslide. By his own standards, these numbers represented a clear victory then. And I respectfully suggest they do so now.’
He called the results ‘numbers so big that this election now ranks as the clearest demonstration of the true will of the American people — one of the most amazing demonstrations of civic duty we’ve ever seen in our country. It should be celebrated, not attacked,’ said Biden.
Biden looked back to early early 2017, when as outgoing vice president and president of the Senate, he certified the results of Trump’s victory, which devastated Hillary Clinton and Democrats.
‘I did my job,’ he said.
‘Now it is time to turn the page as we’ve done throughout our history. To unite. To heal,’ he intoned.
Biden also referenced his ‘soul of America’ campaign theme.
‘In this battle for the soul of America, democracy prevailed,’ he said. ‘The flame of democracy was lit in this nation a lot time ago. And we now know that nothing – not even a pandemic – or an abuse of power – can extinguish that flame.’
Biden’s Electoral College win became official just before 5:30 p.m. Monday, with California’s votes pushing him over the 270 vote threshold.
With California’s vote in, Biden stood at 302 Electoral College votes, with 306 expected, compared to Trump’s 232.
Ten minutes later, Trump tweeted that he had a ‘very nice meeting’ with Attorney General Bill Barr and announced Barr was leaving the administration. Trump had been fuming all weekend over Barr not exposing that federal authorities were investigating Biden’s son Hunter’s taxes before the November 3 election.
An Ohio secretary of state staff member places the official seal on the state’s Certificate of Votes as electors meet in state capitols around the country during the meeting of the 55th Electoral College Monday
He also spoke about the coronavirus, the good vaccine news, as well as the gruesome milestone of hitting 300,000 deaths in the U.S., reached Monday.
‘What beats deep in the hearts of the American people is this: Democracy,’ Biden said. ‘The right to be heard. To have your vote counted. To choose the leaders of this nation. To govern ourselves.’
Biden’s ‘abuse of power’ comment was a clear whack at Trump, who still refuses to concede the election. That upset Rep. Paul Mitchell – an outgoing conservative Republican – so much that he left the party Monday, saying he’ll be an independent during his final weeks in Congress.
‘This election simply confirms for me that it’s all about power first, and that, frankly, is disgusting and demoralizing,’ Mitchell said on CNN.
Republican lawmakers have been slow to call Biden the president-elect since the election was first called for him on November 7. There was a little bit of movement after the Electoral College vote.
‘Now we have the constitutional threshold and we’ll deal with Vice President Biden as the president-elect,’ said GOP Sen. Roy Blunt. ‘The president continues obviously to have all the options he has available to him, but the electoral vote today was significant.’
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a top ally of the president, wouldn’t fully close the door on a possible Trump second term.
‘It’s a very, very narrow path for the president. I don’t see how it gets there from here, given what the Supreme Court did,’ Graham said. ‘But having said that, I think we’ll let those legal challenges play out.’
The latest Trump campaign plot, articulated by White House aide Stephen Miller Monday morning, was to have Republican ‘electors’ gather in or near the statehouses where the actual Electoral College electors were meeting, to cast their own votes for Trump.
‘As we speak, today, an alternate slate of electors in the contested states is going to vote and we’re going to send those results up to Congress,’ Miller said on Fox & Friends.
‘This will ensure that all of our legal remedies remain open. That means if we win these cases in the courts, we can direct that these alternate electors be certified,’ he added.
In Georgia, a group of Republicans indeed met in a separate room in the state capitol and cast ballots for Trump. In Michigan, a group of Republicans tried to do the same thing, but were refused access to the capitol. The Pennsylvania GOP said they had gathered to cast ballots ‘at the request of the Trump campaign.’
But even Bernie Comfort, the Pennsylvania chair of the Trump campaign, admitted the vote wasn’t much more than a stunt.
‘We took this procedural vote to preserve any legal claims that may be presented going forward,’ Comfort said in a statement. ‘This was in no way an effort to usurp or contest the will of the Pennsylvania voters.’
And despite these shenanigans, Biden still called the election a success.
‘We the People voted. Faith in our institutions held. The integrity of our elections remains intact,’ Biden said. ‘And so, now it is time to turn the page. To unite. To heal.’
Miller’s claim that ‘legal remedies remain open’ flew in the face of reality. Trump had seen the bid by Texas to overturn the election thrown out by the Supreme Court Friday and spent the weekend angrily tweeting that the nine justices lacked ‘wisdom and courage.’
And on Monday, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ended yet another Trump lawsuit against the results there, another defeat for the president who has seen dozens of lawsuits struck down since voting went against him.
Biden’s victory saw him take 81,282,376 votes compared to Trump’s 74,222,576 in the popular vote – although until Monday, Trump was usually the one making repeat references to his vote total.
Symbolic moment: 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton (left) and her husband former President Bill Clinton (right) were both electors in New York state, traveling to Albany to cast their ballots for Joe Biden
Hillary Clinton (left), the Democrats’ 2016 nominee for president, participated in New York’s Electoral College vote tally Monday in Albany and Former President Bill Clinton (right) joined his wife to cast a vote for Democrat Joe Biden, who won New York’s 29 votes
Victor: In the swing state of Georgia, 2018 gubernatorial loser Stacey Abrams presided as the state’s electoral college votes went to Joe Biden – a galling defeat for Donald Trump and the end of the road for litigation
His victory was declared by major television networks on November 7, but has still not been acknowledged by Trump, who instead has spent more than a month furiously claiming the election was ‘rigged’ or ‘stolen’ and racking up dozens of defeats in court, with the Supreme Court hammering a nail in his coffin last Friday.
The Electoral College vote leaves Trump’s path to overturning the result one which is now essentially impossible: he will have to persuade both the House and the Senate to throw out the votes of the swing states.
Among those voting Monday, Hillary and Bill Clinton who are Electoral College electors in New York. Also, former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, widely credited for Biden’s win in the state.
Security was stepped up in many of the swing state capitols amid concern that the confirmation of Biden’s victory would lead to protests.
For example, Michigan’s legislative office buildings were closed to the public due to ‘credible threats of violence,’ state officials said Sunday night.
And state House member Gary Eisen, a Republican, was disciplined by his own party for saying he could not guarantee that certifying Biden’s win in the state would not lead to violence.
In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, a handful of pro-Trump demonstrators protested outside the state capitol.
Once the vote is counted, the results will be sent to Washington and tallied in a January 6 joint session of Congress over which Vice President Mike Pence will preside.
The electors’ votes have drawn more attention than usual this year because Trump has refused to concede the election and continues to make baseless allegations of fraud.
Miller said ‘an alternate slate of electors’ would be meeting in swing states Monday and their tallies would also be sent to Congress, which tallies the actual Electoral College’s results on January 6
Protests: This was the scene in Harrisburg, PA, outside the state capitol. Security had been stepped up in the swing states as electors met, but there were few protesters anywhere
A group of Republicans in Georgia gathered and cast their own votes for President Donald Trump, a plan Stephen Miller revealed Monday morning on Fox & Friends
All through Monday, he continued to tweet wild allegations.
Answering a question posed by Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo on twitter, ‘Why did the Swing States stop counting in the middle of the night?’ Trump replied, ‘Because they waited to find out how many ballots they had to produce in order to steal the Rigged Election.’
‘They were so far behind that they needed time, & a fake ‘water main break’, to recover!’ Trump said.
A water leak occurred at a site in Georgia, but a top Republican election official said it had no impact on the vote tally.
As Biden neared 270 electoral votes, the number he needed to make his win official, Trump kept tweeting – sharing an op-ed from the conservative Washington Times claiming there were problems with the Dominion voting system in one county in Michigan.
Trump is attempting to undermine Biden’s presidency even before it begins.
Electoral College electors in Georgia, a state the flipped from red to blue, cast their 16 votes for Biden
In Vermont, elector Kesha Ram fills out her presidential ballot at the statehouse in Montpelier
Electors in Tennessee met Monday to cast Electoral College votes. Tennessee’s votes went to Trump
New Hampshire’s electors met Monday to cast the state’s four votes in favor of Biden
Electors in Arkansas get sworn in Monday. Arkansas’ six electoral votes will go to Trump
New York’s 29 votes went to Biden despite being the state where Trump was born
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot presides over the Electoral College gathering in Illinois
‘No, I worry about the country having an illegitimate president, that’s what I worry about. A president that lost and lost badly,’ Trump said in a Fox News interview that was taped Saturday.
His move to introduce ‘alternate electors’ was ridiculed by George Conway, the anti-Trump husband of former White House Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway.
‘The next thing you know, they’re going to declare Palm Beach to be the ‘alternative’ capital of the United States, and Mar-a-Lago the ‘alternative’ Executive Mansion,’ Conway tweeted Monday morning.
MICHIGAN REPUBLICAN WHO REFUSED TO CONDEMN VIOLENCE IS DISCIPLINED BY PARTY
A Republican lawmaker from Michigan has been disciplined for not denouncing potential violence at the state Capitol before Democratic presidential electors are to meet to vote for Joe Biden, who won the state over President Donald Trump.
State Rep. Gary Eisen of St. Clair Township told WPHM-AM on Monday that he planned to help with an unspecified ‘Hail Mary’ GOP plan to challenge the election, conceding the ‘uncharted’ action likely would not change the result.
Asked if he could guarantee people’s safety, he said ‘no.’
House Speaker Lee Chatfield and Speaker-elect Jason Wentworth, both Republicans, removed Eisen from committees in the closing days of the two-year session. In a statement, they said threats or suggestions of violence in politics are never acceptable, including ‘when the public officials open the door to violent behavior and refuse to condemn it. We must do better.’
The 16 electors and top Democratic state officials such as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer are scheduled to gather in the Senate chamber Monday afternoon. Legislative offices are closed because of threats of violence. The Capitol is closed to the public because of coronavirus restrictions.
Following weeks of Republican legal challenges that were easily dismissed by judges, Trump and Republican allies tried to persuade the Supreme Court last week to set aside 62 electoral votes for Biden in four states, which might have thrown the outcome into doubt.
The justices rejected the effort on Friday.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Monday ruled against yet another of the ‘Kraken’ lawsuits that Trump allies had promised. This time, the state’s high court ruled against an effort to toss out 221,000 in minority-heavy Milwaukee and Daine County.
Justice Brian Hagedorn said the Trump campaign was ‘not entitled to the relief it seeks.’
The conservative judge used a sports analogy to spike the ball. ‘Our laws allow the challenge flag to be thrown regarding various aspects of election administration. The challenges raised by the Campaign in this case, however, come long after the last play or even the last game; the Campaign is challenging the rulebook adopted before the season began.’
The Trump camp also wanted to rule out ballots from those who claimed to be ‘indefinitely confined’ and voted absentee. But this, like other challenges, was brought too late. The campaign also challenged absentee ballots that poll workers collected at parks.
Democratic election lawyer Marc Elias, who has been tracking the Trump election failures, said it was the 59th defeat. He wrote that all significant post-election cases have now been decided. ‘Trump and his allies are 1-59 in post-election litigation,’ according to Elias’ count.
Biden is planning to address the nation Monday night, after the electors have voted.
Biden won 306 electoral votes to 232 votes for Trump.
It takes 270 votes to be elected.
In 32 states and the District of Columbia, laws require electors to vote for the popular-vote winner.
The Supreme Court unanimously upheld this arrangement in July.
Electors almost always vote for the state winner anyway because they generally are devoted to their political party.
There’s no reason to expect any defections this year.
Among prominent electors are 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton – who will get to cast a vote against Trump – Democrat Stacey Abrams of Georgia and Republican Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota.
The voting is decidedly low tech, by paper ballot.
Electors cast one vote each for president and vice president.
The Electoral College was the product of compromise during the drafting of the Constitution between those who favored electing the president by popular vote and those who opposed giving the people the power to choose their leader.
Each state gets a number of electors equal to their total number of seats in Congress: two senators plus however many members the state has in the House of Representatives.
Washington, D.C., has three votes, under a constitutional amendment that was ratified in 1961.
With the exception of Maine and Nebraska, states award all their Electoral College votes to the winner of the popular vote in their state.
The bargain struck by the nation’s founders has produced five elections in which the president did not win the popular vote.
Trump was the most recent example in 2016.
Before that, it was George W. Bush, another Republican, in 2000.
Biden topped Trump by more than 7 million votes this year.
On January 6, Congress will tally the vote in a House of Representatives session that Pence, as president of the Senate, will preside over.
Some House Republicans have said they will challenge certain states’ counts, but they need a member of the Senate in order to do so successfully.
If that occurred, the House and Senate would have to debate the challenge – holding up the tally for several hours.
A simple majority will kill the challenge.
From there, there’s one more step: inauguration on January 20.