Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said Saturday he is joining a block of about a dozen Republican senators that will raise objections Jan 6 to Joe Biden's Nov. 3 victory, according to a joint statement from the lawmakers.
Cruz and 10 other Republican senators or senators-elect said in a statement they would raise objections in Congress on Jan. 6. It is when Congress is required by the U.S. Constitution to meet and accept the results of the Electoral College, a gathering that is typically a formality.
The statement calls for a delay of certification, and a 10-day investigation into accusations of wrongdoing, which have been stoked by Trump but repeatedly dismissed in court.
"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. 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 January 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."
According to a joint statement released Saturday, joining Cruz are: GOP Sens. Ron Johnson, R-Wis.; James Lankford, R-Okla.; Steve Daines, R-Mont.; John Kennedy, R-La.; Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.; and Mike Braun, R-Ind.; as well as Sens.-elect Cynthia Lummis; R-Wyo.; Roger Marshall, R-Kan.; Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn.; and Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala.
"We are not naïve. We fully expect most if not all Democrats, and perhaps more than a few Republicans, to vote otherwise. But support of election integrity should not be a partisan issue. A fair and credible audit-conducted expeditiously and completed well before January 20-would dramatically improve Americans' faith in our electoral process and would significantly enhance the legitimacy of whoever becomes our next President. We owe that to the People.
"These are matters worthy of the Congress, and entrusted to us to defend. We do not take this action lightly. We are acting not to thwart the democratic process, but rather to protect it. And every one of us should act together to ensure that the election was lawfully conducted under the Constitution and to do everything we can to restore faith in our Democracy."
The Trump campaign presented evidence of voter and election fraud, but Attorney General William Barr, who stepped down before Christmas, has said it did not meet the level of overturning the election.
Cruz's call for an investigation and an unprecedented delay in formally certifying Joe Biden's victory is seen as a condition that is all but certain to not be met, the people said. Cruz is poised to then oppose certification.
Still, several other senators are in talks to follow Cruz, they added. It is not yet clear how many will, and whether any or all will vote against certification, or simply object or abstain. Discussions between senators' offices were ongoing Saturday, the people said.
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., has already said he will object, teeing up a lengthy process Jan. 6 that is unlikely to stop the results but might splinter the GOP.
Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., the Senate GOP's No. 2, said last week that attempts to object to the electoral count would "go down like a shot dog in the Senate." He advised GOP lawmakers who plan to take part in such an effort to reconsider.
Trump responded by urging someone – for example, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem – to launch a primary challenge against Thune in 2022.
Newsmax writer Eric Mack contributed to this report.
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