Why January 6 Will Be a Dumpster Fire

The Hill reports that eleven more Republican senators have signed on to challenging the Electoral College Results. That makes a dozen, with Josh Hawley.

Eleven Senate Republicans on Saturday announced that they will object to the Electoral College results Wednesday, when Congress convenes in a joint session to formally count the vote.

GOP Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas), Ron Johnson (Wis.), James Lankford (Okla.), Steve Daines (Mont.), John Kennedy (La.), Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.) and Mike Braun (Ind.) and Sens.-elect Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.), Roger Marshall (Kan.), Bill Hagerty (Tenn.) and Tommy Tuberville (Ala.) said in a joint statement that they will object to the election results until there is a 10-day audit.

“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,” they said. “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 Jan. 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,” they added.

That list of rogue senators could grow. We haven’t heard from Rand Paul yet.

Here are the rules (according to the Electoral Count Act of 1887) for the Joint Session to count Electoral College votes, as compiled by the Congressional Research Service. My inexpert reading of the rules is that overturning a state’s election results requires a majority vote in both houses of Congress, which isn’t going to happen. So I’m not too worried.

However, the Dirty Dozen might possibly use the 1887 rules to cause the Joint Session to drag on for a while, possibly days. The rules appear to say that for every individual objection to a state’s vote the Joint Session must break up and debate for two hours, then vote on that objection. The Joint Session could agree to consider objections to more than one state at once, as was done in 1873, but if they don’t, certifying the EC votes will take a while.

There is also precedent for objecting to Electors individually, not just a state’s entire slate of Electors. And which states are they calling “disputed states”? I assume they’re talking about Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. But they might decide to challenge every state Biden won. Like I said, this could go on for days.

Mitch McConnell must be about to blow a fuse. Well, we can hope.

There are also rules for what happens if two lists of Electors show up from the same state, which also could happen. After wading through considerable verbiage I came to understand that the law says a list of Electors certified by the state’s governor takes precedence over a List of Random Bozos Who Were Pissed About the Election. But it’s not impossible seditious elements in Congress would use the anticipated “alternate” Electors to slow down the procedures further.

And it’s possible Mike Pence will throw a wrench in the works, even though he asked a judge to pitch Louie Gohmert’s suit against him.

The suit, which was brought late last year by US Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) and a slate of would-be Republican electors in Arizona, asked the US District Court for eastern Texas to grant Vice President Mike Pence the “exclusive authority and sole discretion under the Twelfth Amendment to determine which slates of electors for a State, or neither, may be counted.”

A federal judge in Texas dismissed the suit yesterday. The Vice President has no constitutional authority to choose the next President.

Trump has been promoting mass protests in Washington, DC, on January 6, and there’s a strong likelihood that will get nasty. I would prefer lefties stay out of it so that any violence won’t be blamed on them. And Daily Beast reports that Trump is telling people he plans to continue to file court challenges to the election even after the January 6 Joint Session certifies the win.

Two people familiar with the matter say that in recent days, Trump has told advisers and close associates that he wants to keep fighting in court past Jan. 6 if members of Congress, as expected, end up certifying the electoral college results.

“The way he sees it is: Why should I ever let this go?… How would that benefit me?” said one of the sources, who’s spoken to Trump at length about the post-election activities to nullify his Democratic opponent’s decisive victory.

Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen write at Axios:

President Trump is torching his own party and its leaders on his way out of power — and tossing gas on the fire with a public call for mass protest next week and a vote to overturn his defeat.

Why it matters: Trump is demanding Republicans fully and unequivocally embrace him — or face his wrath. This is self-inflicted, self-focused — and dangerous for a Republican Party clinging to waning Washington power.

I liked this part:

He’s trying to burn down the party’s chances in Tuesday’s Georgia runoffs, raising doubts for Republican voters by tweeting yesterday that the state’s elections are “both illegal and invalid, and that would include the two current Senatorial Elections.”

Yeah, keep that up, Trumpie. VandeHei and Allen continue that Trump is trying to burn down Georgia Gov. Kemp, Mitch McConnell, several other Republicans and the Republican party in general. By the time this is over the Republican establishment may want to see Trump in jail even more than Democrats do.