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Trump loyalists’ election challenge ‘will go down like shot dog’

A plan by conservative lawmakers loyal to President Donald Trump to challenge the election results in Congress will ‘go down like a shot dog,’ a top Republican senator warned.

A group of House Republican lawmakers met privately with Trump and Vice President Mike Pence at the White House on Monday to discuss a long shot bid to challenge the electoral college results when Congress meets to certify them on January 6th.

Pence presides over the session, which requires an objection from a member of the House and the Senate for the results to be challenged. President-elect Joe Biden won the electoral college with 306 votes to Trump’s 232. 

Republican Senator John Thune of South Dakota, a member of GOP leadership, warned the effort will get no where with the upper chamber. 

‘They’ve got to remember is,’ Thune warned the House lawmakers in remarks to reporters on Capitol Hill Monday, ‘it’s just not going anywhere. It’s going down like a shot dog. And I just don’t think it makes a lot of sense to put everybody through this when you know what the ultimate outcome is going to be.’ 

Senator John Thune of South Dakota, a member of GOP leadership, warned House Republicans their efforts to challenge the electoral college results will ‘go down like a shot dog’

Republican Rep Matt Gaetz of Florida checks his phone outside the West Wing; he was at Monday's White House meeting that House Republicans held with President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence

Republican Rep Matt Gaetz of Florida checks his phone outside the West Wing; he was at Monday’s White House meeting that House Republicans held with President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell also is intervening behind the scenes. McConnell, who recognized Biden’s victory in a speech on the Senate floor last week, asked GOP senators not to join the House conservatives in their objection.

Even staunch Trump loyalists like Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina have expressed doubts about challenging the electoral college outcome. 

‘I think it’d probably do more harm than good,’ Graham said Monday.

But some GOP senators have not ruled out joining the objection, including Senators Josh Hawley of Missouri and Rand Paul of Kentucky. 

And Trump said this weekend he had spoken to incoming Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, who has said he could join the effort, about the matter. Tuberville takes office when Congress convenes for its new session on January 4th.

Should a senator join a House lawmaker in the objection, the matter would then be up for debate.

Republican Congressmen Matt Gaetz, Jody Hice, Jim Jordan and Mo Brooks were among the lawmakers at Monday’s meeting with Trump and Pence. 

Brooks told Politico there are plans to challenge the results in six states and noted the total debate time could clock in at around 18 hours. That means process could drag out into January 7. 

But it’s unlikely to go anywhere given the Democratic-controlled House is not likely to approve any further action.  

In essence, the effort is doomed to fail but would create quite the show, something McConnell and many Republican senators would like to avoid. After the 2016 election, several House Democrats objected to the electoral college results but no senator joined them and then-Vice President Joe Biden, who was presiding, gaveled down the objection and certified Trump’s win. 

President Donald Trump has refused to concede the election and is meeting with Republicans and lawyers about ways to over turn the results

President Donald Trump has refused to concede the election and is meeting with Republicans and lawyers about ways to over turn the results

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris said she has no concerns about Trump's effort to over turn the electoral college

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris said she has no concerns about Trump’s effort to over turn the electoral college

Gaetz was photographed standing outside the West Wing, checking his phone, as a Marine stood guard on Monday. 

And Hice tweeted his intentions after the meeting: ‘I will lead an objection to Georgia’s electors on Jan 6. The courts refuse to hear the President’s legal case. We’re going to make sure the People can!’

Brooks told CNN the meeting was to discuss ‘how bad the voter fraud and election theft’ was in November.

There has been no proof of massive voter fraud, the Trump campaign has lost multiple lawsuits trying to over turn the election results and the president’s own administration said the election was fairly run. 

Brooks also said the group had a separate meeting with Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani and that they saw conspiracy theorist attorney Sidney Powell at the White House but they didn’t meet with her.

Powell has been the lead instigator in floating a conspiracy theory that voting machines in states Trump lost flipped votes from the president to Joe Biden. 

Powell , who famously vowed she would ‘release the Kraken’ to help the president, accused Dominion Voting Systems of having ties to Venezuela and China in her claims their voting machines were faulty and led to Trump’s loss. She was dismissed from Trump’s legal team last month as the campaign tried to distance itself from those claims. 

Dominion sent her a letter demanding she retract her claims and has threatened her with legal action.

Meanwhile, Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are moving forward with planning and rolling out their administration. It’s 29 days until inauguration. 

Harris, who still holds her Senate seat from California, said she had no concerns about the president’s effort to overthrow the election in Congress.  

‘No,’ she told reporters on Capitol Hill on Monday when asked about it and rolled her eyes.

She also told MSNBC that she believes ‘reality will set in.’  

‘I have to believe that, at some point, reality will set in and that everyone will understand that we need to govern, that the people of our country rely on our government to work and function in a way that Congress works with the executive branch and the White House to solve their problems,’ she said. 


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