EXCLUSIVE -- As rank-and-file Republicans grapple with how they'll proceed on Wednesday -- the date on which Congress will vote to certify 2020's electoral college outcome -- House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney (R-WY) sent a lengthy memo to her colleagues warning that efforts to reject or delay the election results would constitute an "exceptionally dangerous precedent." She also explicitly rebuffed the 'commission' proposal from Sen. Ted Cruz and others, referring to it as unworkable and "even more problematic." Dozens of House Republicans are reportedly preparing to object to the certification of Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College victory over President Trump, with up to a dozen Senators joining the gambit. These maneuvers are opposed by bipartisan majorities in both the House and Senate, and will therefore neither alter the end result, nor delay Biden's inauguration -- but they will likely force hours of debate in each legislative chamber, followed by politically-uncomfortable votes that have been vehemently opposed by upper chamber GOP leadership. This is a useful thread from a federal attorney about how the process would play out:
If those conditions are met, then the joint session of Congress is suspended, and the Senators leave the House chamber and go back to the Senate chamber.— Gabriel Malor (@gabrielmalor) December 30, 2020
Each house then has not more than two hours to debate the objection and vote to accept or reject it.
You see where this is going. The House is not going to agree to objections to electors from the contested states where Biden won, regardless if Sen. Hawley and Rep. Cawthorn object in all four states.— Gabriel Malor (@gabrielmalor) December 30, 2020
They'll just achieve eight-ish hours of futile delay.
I obtained Rep. Cheney's memo on Sunday and posted significant excerpts on Twitter. Click through to read the key passages:
Memo runs through relevant constitutional & statutory provisions & includes a summary of Team Trump's myriad failed legal challenges in (supposedly) contested states. Her conclusion: "There is no appropriate basis to object to the electors from any of the six states at issue." pic.twitter.com/8NLLWSg5df— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) January 3, 2021
Cheney has sparred with some conservative members of her caucus in recent years over various issues, and this battle may heighten those tensions. Meanwhile, conservative legal analyst, former federal prosecutor, and strong Trump supporter Andrew McCarthy has written extensively about Team Trump's string of defeats in court -- including defeats at the hands of conservative (and even Trump-appointed) judges, and the multiple instances in which the campaign's lawyers abandoned any effort whatsoever to prove widespread or systemic voter fraud, despite much of their public rhetoric:
Publicly, the Trump campaign has been claiming there was extensive vote fraud and law-breaking. Specifically with respect to Wisconsin, President Trump tweeted on November 28: “The Wisconsin recount is not about finding mistakes in the count, it is about finding people who have voted illegally . . . We have found many illegal votes. Stay tuned!” The campaign further maintained that the recount it demanded would “show somewhere around 100,000 illegal ballots in the two counties that Biden carried” (i.e., Milwaukee and Dane). This is in addition to the innumerable times the president and his surrogates have asserted that they were being systematically prevented from proving massive fraud and illegality. The courts and state officials, we’ve been told, have invoked legal technicalities, such as the supposed lack of standing to sue, in order to stop the campaign from calling witnesses and introducing voluminous documentary evidence. So what happened in Wisconsin? Judge Ludwig denied the state’s claims that the campaign lacked standing. Instead, he gave the campaign the hearing they asked for — the opportunity to call witnesses and submit damning exhibits.
Yet, when it got down to brass tacks, the morning of the hearing, it turned out there was no actual disagreement between the Trump team and Wisconsin officials about the pertinent facts of the case. The president’s counsel basically said: Never mind, we don’t need to present all our proof . . . we’ll just stipulate to all the relevant facts and argue legal principles. In the end, after all the heated rhetoric, what did they tell the court the case was really about? Just three differences over the manner in which the election was administered — to all of which, as Ludwig pointed out, the campaign could have objected before the election if these matters had actually been of great moment. There was no there there. Despite telling the country for weeks that this was the most rigged election in history, the campaign didn’t think it was worth calling a single witness. Despite having the opportunity of a hearing before a Trump appointee who was willing to give the campaign ample opportunity to prove its case, the campaign said, “Never mind.” The legal arguments were not much more weighty than the vacant factual presentation.
I'll leave you with President Trump's unsuccessful efforts to pressure Georgia's Secretary of State to "recalculate" the state's vote tally (which has already been counted three times) in order to "find" nearly 12,000 votes:
Trump steps way over the line in call to Georgia Secretary of State Raffensperger. Will be interesting to see if story causes some House & Senate Republicans to re-think their effort on his behalf. From WP: https://t.co/j6KL34b1Tt pic.twitter.com/5Wlh7hNOpM— Byron York (@ByronYork) January 3, 2021
This is not an instance of anonymous sources leaking allegations. The phone conversation is on tape. President Trump will hold a rally in Georgia this evening, in advance of tomorrow's crucial Senate runoff elections -- which will determine control of the US Senate, and decide whether Democrats will hold unified, unchecked federal power once Biden is sworn in. Prominent Democrats have stated that sweeping this pair of races would allow them to "change America" while precluding the need to negotiate with Republicans.