WASHINGTON – Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., said Wednesday he will raise objections next week when Congress meets to affirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the election, forcing House and Senate votes that are likely to delay — but in no way alter — the final certification of Biden's win.
President Donald Trump has, without evidence, claimed there was widespread fraud in the election. He has pushed Republican senators to pursue his unfounded charges even though the Electoral College this month cemented Biden’s 306-232 victory and multiple legal efforts to challenge the results have failed.
A group of Republicans in the Democratic-majority House have already said they will object on Trump’s behalf during the Jan. 6 count of electoral votes, and they had needed just a single senator to go along with them to force votes in both chambers.
Without giving specifics or evidence, Hawley said he would object because “some states, including notably Pennsylvania” did not follow their own election laws. Lawsuits challenging Biden's victory in Pennsylvania have been unsuccessful.
“At the very least, Congress should investigate allegations of voter fraud and adopt measures to secure the integrity of our elections,” Hawley said in a statement. He also criticized the way Facebook and Twitter handled content related to the election, characterizing it as an effort to help Biden.
Biden transition spokeswoman Jen Psaki dismissed Hawley’s move as “antics” that will have no bearing on Biden being sworn in on Jan. 20.
“The American people spoke resoundingly in this election and 81 million people have voted for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris,” Psaki said in a call with reporters. She added: “Congress will certify the results of the election as they do every four years.”
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows praised Hawley on Twitter for “unapologetically standing up for election integrity.”