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U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) wears a protective mask while departing the U.S. Capitol on December 11, 2020 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images)

Attempting to Cement 'Mythology' of Stolen Election, Hawley Announces He Will Contest Electoral College Results

"Biden will be president. This, however, will continue to radicalize the GOP, keeping it a dangerous threat to democracy and rule of law."

Julia Conley

Republican Sen. Josh Hawley was accused of attempting to "overthrow democracy" and catering to his own political ambitions on Wednesday after he announced he plans to contest the Electoral College vote on January 6, when the U.S. Congress convenes to certify the election results.

Both chambers of Congress will meet for the ceremonial vote, nearly a month after members of the Electoral College certified that President-elect Joe Biden won the November 3 election, winning 306 electoral votes versus President Donald Trump's 232. 

"That Hawley is joining Trump's effort to overturn millions of votes is a bad sign. It suggests the 2024 hopefuls who see themselves as Trumpism's heirs will continue to stress the mythology that the election was stolen from him."
—Greg Sargent, Washington Post

Hawley, who is thought to be planning a run for president in 2024, claimed he's being driven to contest the election results by concerns "that some states, particularly Pennsylvania, failed to follow their own state election laws."

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court found in November that officials did not violate state laws during the counting of ballots. Other lawsuits filed by Trump and members of the Republican Party in the state and several other swing states also failed to convince federal and state judges that election officials violated laws in order to hand Biden the electoral victory. 

Despite the president's claims that the January 6 certification represents an opportunity for Republican lawmakers who are loyal to him to reverse the election results, Hawley's plan has virtually no chance of succeeding because the U.S. House is controlled by the Democrats and at least 25 Senate Republicans have signaled that they accept Biden's victory.

"Regardless of whatever antics anyone is up to on January 6, President-elect Biden will be sworn in on the 20th," Jen Psaki, a spokesperson for the former vice president, told reporters. 

A challenge by Hawley—who may be joined by Sen.-elect Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), who will be sworn in January 3—will trigger a floor debate and a vote in each chamber of Congress. But critics said the first-term senator is likely attempting to lend credence to the false notion—held by more than three-quarters of Republican voters, according to a recent Quinnipiac University poll—that the election was riddled with fraud. 

"That Hawley is joining Trump's effort to overturn millions of votes is a bad sign," said Washington Post columnist Greg Sargent. "It suggests the 2024 hopefuls who see themselves as Trumpism's heirs will continue to stress the mythology that the election was stolen from him."

Attorney Teri Kanefield tweeted that Hawley's plan "has no chance of succeeding" but "serves a purpose."

The fact that Hawley can expect to be rewarded by a segment of the Republican Party for his challenge to the will of American voters shows that the United States' "political incentive systems are so grossly out of whack," tweeted Politico correspondent Tim Alberta.

Should Hawley force members of Congress to vote on whether to certify Biden's decisive victory, tweeted Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), he will be forcing his fellow Republicans to make a choice: "recognize the will of the American people and abide their decision to elect Joe Biden, or try to install Trump as unelected despot." 

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