The Senate’s No. 2 Republican said Monday that any attempt by a handful of House conservatives to challenge the Electoral College’s results proclaiming Joe Biden the next president is “going down like a shot dog.”
Senator John Thune said he knows of no senators who have committed to join an effort by several House Republicans to challenge Biden’s election when Congress convenes Jan. 6 to count certificates of electoral votes, usually a ceremonial process.
“The thing they’ve got to remember is, it’s just not going anywhere. I mean, in the Senate it would go down like a shot dog,” Thune told reporters. “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.”
President Donald Trump so far has refused to concede -- citing baseless claims of fraud -- and urged his supporters to carry on the fight.
Thune’s comments came just a few hours after several House GOP members met privately at the White House with Trump to discuss plans to challenge the Electoral College votes in at least six states.
They met “in the Oval Office with President @realDonaldTrump, preparing to fight back against mounting evidence of voter fraud,” White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows tweeted.
Those at the meeting included Representatives Mo Brooks of Alabama, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Jim Jordan of Ohio and Jody Hice and Representative-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene, both of Georgia, according to their tweets and statements to media. Also present were Louie Gohmert of Texas, Andy Biggs of Arizona, and Scott Perry of Pennsylvania.
“I will lead an objection to Georgia’s electors on Jan 6,” Hice tweeted after the White House meeting. “The courts refuse to hear the President’s legal case. We’re going to make sure the People can!”
The law allows for members of Congress to object to votes from any given state. The process, which would kick off debates in each chamber, requires a member of both the House and the Senate to object in writing.
“I’ve seen public statements from a couple of incoming Republicans” in the Senate, Thune said. “But I don’t know that anybody’s committed to doing it.”
Trump has said he has spoken with Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, who will be sworn in as a Republican senator on Jan. 3, about signing on to challenges on Jan. 6. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has urged fellow Republicans not to object, saying it could hurt the party politically.
Even some of Trump’s allies in the Senate have suggested they don’t plan to object to the Electoral College count.
“I think it’d probably do more harm than good,” Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham told reporters on Monday night.
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