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Defiant Trump cheers as allies in Congress plan challenge to his election

PoliticsJan 06, 2021 01:16PM ET
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© Reuters.

By Patricia Zengerle and Richard Cowan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -A band of President Donald Trump's Republican allies planned a last-ditch effort in Congress on Wednesday to undo his election defeat - a bid almost certain to fail - even as he put fresh pressure on Vice President Mike Pence to try to reverse Democrat Joe Biden's victory.

On the same day Trump's fellow Republicans were poised to lose their majority in the Senate, both chambers of Congress were due to formally certify Biden's victory in the Nov. 3 election in proceedings that could stretch past midnight. In a joint session of the Republican-led Senate and Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, Trump's allies plan to challenge the results from a handful of states won by Biden.

"We will never give up," Trump told thousands of cheering supporters on a grassy expanse near the White House called the Ellipse. "We will never concede. It doesn't happen. You don't concede when there's theft involved."

Biden won the election by 306-232 in the state-by-state Electoral College and by more than 7 million ballots in the national popular vote, but Trump continues to falsely claim there was widespread fraud and that he was the victor.

State and federal reviews have debunked Trump's claims of widespread election fraud even as increasingly desperate legal efforts by his campaign and allies on the right to overturn the election have failed in numerous courts all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Biden is due to take office on Jan. 20.

During his speech, Trump praised the Republican lawmakers seeking to challenge the election as "brave" and called members of his party who oppose the effort "weak" and pathetic."

Pence is set to preside over the proceedings in the Capitol. Despite pressure from Trump to help overturn his election loss, Pence will stick to his ceremonial duties and not block the congressional certification of Biden's victory, advisers said. Pence, a loyal lieutenant during the four years of Trump's tumultuous presidency, has no plans to intervene and has told Trump he lacks the power to do so, they said.

"All Vice President Pence has to do is send it back to the states to recertifiy and we become president," Trump told his supporters. "Mike Pence is going to have to come through for us. And if he doesn't, it'll be sad day for our country," he added.

The U.S. Constitution does not give Pence the power to unilaterally overturn the results of the election but he is under pressure to do so from Trump.

Senator Ted Cruz, seen as a potential 2024 presidential candidate, is expected on Wednesday afternoon to lead at least 11 other Republican senators, alongside a majority of the 211 Republicans in the House, in objecting to Electoral College results being formally approved by Congress.

DRAMA IN CONGRESS

The proceedings scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. EST (1800 GMT) for Congress to formally certify the presidential election results, the final step in a monthslong process, normally would be ceremonial and perfunctory.

This year, the proceedings could drag past midnight and into early Thursday morning.

Critics of Trump and his allies have painted the efforts to try to reverse the election in Congress as an attack on democracy and the rule of law and an attempted legislative coup.

Democrats won one U.S. Senate race in Georgia and led in another on Wednesday after a pair of runoff elections on Tuesday. Winning both races would give Democrats control of both chambers of Congress and the power to advance Biden's legislative agenda.

Cruz is bucking Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has recognized Biden's victory and urged his fellow Republicans not to pursue the challenges, which appear to lack the political support they would need to succeed. The Republican maneuvering has created fissures within Trump's party and among outside groups normally supportive of it.

Republican senators, including Josh Hawley and James Lankford, have joined forces with Cruz, while other prominent members of the party, including Senator Mitt Romney and Representative Liz Cheney, oppose it.

Thousands of Trump supporters, including some members of violent far-right groups, staged demonstrations as they took up the president's unfounded claim that the election was stolen from him in an elaborate conspiracy. Many donned Trump's trademark red "Make America Great Again" hats and flags bearing his name, and a few carried a large Christian cross.

One of the president's sons, Donald Trump Jr., and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, also addressed the rally.

Some protesters clashed with police overnight. Police this week arrested the leader of the Proud Boys, a group that has supported Trump, on charges of destruction of property related to an earlier protest and possession of a firearms magazine.

Many Republican senators who have refused to challenge the election results have received death threats on their office voice mail, a senior Senate Republican aide said.

STATE BY STATE

The Electoral College results will be presented alphabetically, starting with Alabama. Republicans are expected to challenge results in Arizona, Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Nevada.

If the challenges are ultimately defeated as anticipated, Pence, acting in his role as president of the Senate, is expected to proclaim Biden the next president and Senator Kamala Harris as the next vice president.

If at least one House member and one Senate member object to a state result, each chamber would hold separate debates for each of those states lasting up to two hours. Each chamber would then vote to accept or reject the challenge and then report the result to the joint session of Congress, before moving onto the next challenge.

In registering his objection, Cruz is expected to call for the creation of an emergency election commission to look into voting irregularities claimed by Trump's allies, a source familiar with the upcoming deliberations said.

Defiant Trump cheers as allies in Congress plan challenge to his election
 

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Comments (15)
Christopher Dunson
Christopher Dunson Jan 06, 2021 2:49PM ET
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And just like that.......liberals don't like protests.
Christopher Dunson
Christopher Dunson Jan 06, 2021 2:45PM ET
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Where is the DC Mayor ?
Me comment
Me comment Jan 06, 2021 1:59PM ET
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No those videos are real showing the election process taking place with the workers actually physically counting legal votes to verify the machine tallies. Stop whining about the same process that takes place in each and every election. Same process took place in trumps 2016 win as with his loss in 2020.
Me comment
Me comment Jan 06, 2021 1:54PM ET
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trump election fraud claims have now cost the republicans senate control as well.
Clinton Powell
Clinton Powell Jan 06, 2021 12:47PM ET
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So videos of people counting votes over and over are fake ???
Me comment
Me comment Jan 06, 2021 12:47PM ET
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No those are real showing the election process taking place with the workers actually physically counting legal votes to verify the machine tallies. Stop whining about the same process that takes place in each and every election. Same process took place in trumps 2016 win as with his loss in 2020.
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Jan 06, 2021 10:41AM ET
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Washing is a theater always. They always pander their base.
John El
John El Jan 06, 2021 9:28AM ET
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As an independent, it's sad to see the immaturity after the loss from Reps. the whining like they lost in candy land.
Gabriel Watson
Galaxybane Jan 06, 2021 9:28AM ET
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I think you are referring to a Russia collusion investigation that lasted 4 years and showed nothing.
Ad Cline
Ad Cline Jan 06, 2021 9:28AM ET
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Watson you need to read the report. there's plenty of places that show the campaign accepting help from RUssia.
John El
John El Jan 06, 2021 9:26AM ET
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As an independent, it gives me great pleasure to see such an awful president out of office. Someone so unfit to be responsible for the nation's foreign affairs that it's almost comical. And now we get to see how small the Republicans are in a moment so big. The sobbing like a toddler who lost a board game. the whining.
Zack Harding
Zack Harding Jan 06, 2021 9:26AM ET
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Almost like four years of Russian collusion isn’t it? that would be horrible wouldnt it be?
Zack Harding
Zack Harding Jan 06, 2021 9:26AM ET
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Most adults cannot separate emotions from facts anymore, you may find pleasure in this, but if you look at the facts he was the most effective president in the last 60 years, do yourself a favor and spend some time researching his accomplishments including a vaccine that no one said he could get done this year in Middle East peace and trade deals that no one‘s been of the touch for 50+ years. Thats just December. Otherwise you’re just a hot emotional mess with your pom-poms out for the winners. We are all losers.
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Ad Cline Jan 06, 2021 9:26AM ET
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Zack. shredding the constitution was another great accomplishment. ,.reducing America's power and prestige in the world something to be proud of. youre right, Trump's abillity to take credit for others accomplishments and blame others for his failures showed real talent.
James Pattison
James Pattison Jan 06, 2021 8:40AM ET
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No one is protesting the loss of sn election... we are protesting the loss of elections... see the difference
Gg BRO
Gg BRO Jan 06, 2021 8:00AM ET
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These people who mark my comments thumb down, please comment on why you think so. My only thought to why is the affect all those fake new stations are your source of info.Let me tell you a secret. When you have these stations controlling what you are supposed to k ow, Also like FB, Twiiter and others monitoring what you say regardless of their immunity, don't you even think that this type of control in what you think and say is what you want our country to be going forward, controlling your children to an even higher degree? It appears you will be getting this and every war fought for our freedom will now be dismissed because we want government to have a role in everything we do, everything.Is this why the thumbs down? I would like to know as I cannot figure you out? Do you actually want a flood of people coming into our country to be given money, medical insurance , free college tuition? Not to say crime that will ensue here, a d disease. Why would you want to end America?
Me comment
Me comment Jan 06, 2021 8:00AM ET
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Don't want to end America just the uneducated trump supporters, big victories in Georgia to start the process. Next will be trying and convicting the criminals trying to abort the constitutional election process by challenging the voice of the people and the electorialcollege process. Through all this no physical evidence has been brought forward to overturn any on the election results. Court won't take up, justices appointed by trump, the non cases because of this lack of evidence. The elections are over so live with it and the defeat.
Esteban Márquez
Esteban Márquez Jan 06, 2021 8:00AM ET
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Adderall? hahah
Average Trader
Average Trader Jan 06, 2021 8:00AM ET
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Me comment  My impression of the democrats is, that they have no knowledge about economy (but they think they have, and the confidence ist the dangerous part of it). Maybe they are more educated, but they are mentally weak, republicans on the other hand have real values. For example, the reason why democrats are pro multiculturalism, is because it is the stronger party (racial discrepancies, white guilt). One thing is for sure, whith this mentality, the white race will die out in the distant future. And of course the naivity about China, but thats another story.
John El
John El Jan 06, 2021 8:00AM ET
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if you think Guatemalans, etc are coming here and receiving free money, healthcare and tuition you are sadly mistaken
IceIce Baby
IceIceBaby Jan 06, 2021 7:49AM ET
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The sooner the Senate place Biden and Harris in the sooner get rid they off trump. I think it is inevitable for the US democracy to let this happen as smooth and fast as it can be to not give Trump and his fanatics opportunity to rage on the street much time.
Gg BRO
Gg BRO Jan 06, 2021 7:44AM ET
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can you imagine that a Presidential election vote count was calculated using Venezuelan software with strong links to that old man Soros? and then sent overseas to another country to be counted? This is fair election? They say show me the proof. OK create an investigation committee to go over every detail of this software used. I'd investigate the role of the Biden hard drive evidence. which FBI did not even reveal for a year. And sometimes proving something so highly respected as our vote can be proved to a high degree using a hypothesis of how it cannot be a justifiable and highly probable win based on the above facts alone. Why in the name of our country would this Venezuelan software even be allowed to be used? A d e en more importantly, why the live internet connection to these vote counts? This is how this election was stolen from the Republican party and 80percent of them don't ha e the ***to contest it, as Pelosi has contested Trump's every move.We now must fight!
Ron Cole
Ron Cole Jan 06, 2021 7:44AM ET
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Sad to say it's true. Sorry MS. won't report the truth, but evidence no court has agreed to hear is everywhere and confirmed by former ex-CIA and ex-FBI agents. (Not Comey's guys.) This will be reported later today if the libs don't block the truth. "Nothing to see hear. Just move along!" 'Cause you can't handle the truth, lemming. Do as you're told!
Jon Andis
Jon Andis Jan 06, 2021 7:44AM ET
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they have forensic evidence on dominion machines and the conclusion was they are flipping elections by the company that did the investigation. the report is out there in the internet to read for yourself.
Ad Cline
Ad Cline Jan 06, 2021 7:44AM ET
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there u s no proof more wack jobs moving lies. who you guys working for. are they still paying you 25 kopecks a word.
Gg BRO
Gg BRO Jan 06, 2021 7:24AM ET
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yeah I know, the" people" of the US elected a man in actual mental apathy, we had live internet connection to the vote count software, Socialism has proven to fail and destroy monetary system and dollar value, Bidin hard Drive was held by FBI, with absolute ties to China payoffs for the "big guy", we had an eye witness testify to the "big guy" role in Chinese payoffs for White house access, we have the dem leaders not mention once that this virus was purposely sent to our country ********over 200,000 people, we have a NY governor and Pennsylvania governor and a few others send covid patients into nursing homes causing the majority of all Chinese virus deaths in USA only later to be nominated for an Emmy for this "exceptional leadership" in how to *****our most vulnerable, and what do U see and here? Biden wins election, Harris the most far left of any senators is VP, Georgia appears to lose two Republican senate seats, and this is what the people wanted, all the while big tech
Camaro Camero
Camaro Jan 06, 2021 6:28AM ET
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We won't lay down! Get ready for a fight.
Samui Lo
Samui Lo Jan 06, 2021 6:28AM ET
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Slily MAGA Y lackey don't lay don't they just stay on their knees gobbling Donny 24/7 to soothe their insecure daddy issues. SSD
Ron Cole
Ron Cole Jan 06, 2021 6:28AM ET
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Samui Lo Typical disgusting liberal response.
Gg BRO
Gg BRO Jan 06, 2021 6:28AM ET
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You must be doing it since you brought it up dirtbag,Any one who kills live born babies is the perfect character building models for your children, or mine. You keep it up and the dems will get you an Emmy, like Bozo Cuomo.
Tai Banh
Tai Banh Jan 06, 2021 6:22AM ET
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Just 2 more weeks this guy will be evicted ao do not mention this guy name anymore he cant so anything any more he s deceptive lie ivwr abs iver and ********alot americans by leti f rhe covid 19 keep surging he is vwry terrible
Tai Banh
Tai Banh Jan 06, 2021 6:22AM ET
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Just 2 more weeks this guy will be evicted ao do not mention this guy name anymore he cant do anything any more he s deceptive lie over abs over and hurt alot if americans by letting the covid 19 keep surging he is very terrible
Ron Cole
Ron Cole Jan 06, 2021 6:22AM ET
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Trump's the only one who did anything about it... banned travel, accelerated vaccine and distribution, did not put infected people in nursing homes. Biden didn't want travel ban. All he's ever said is wear a mask for 100 days. Brilliant! What the *****does he think we've been doing? Dolt never accomplished anything positive in 47 years. Trump's had major achievements the MSM and libs won't acknowledge because somehow they think is some sort of team sport. Our team no matter what!
Gg BRO
Gg BRO Jan 06, 2021 6:22AM ET
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oh yeah I forgot, Trump caused all these Chinese virus deaths. At least that is what I hear on this platform and CNN.What disgusting people here. Why not just move out of this country if you are so unhappy?In two weeks we will see how a real President can talk, right? Biden is brain atrophy in the making .
 
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