WASHINGTON – Wednesday's congressional joint session to count electoral votes has taken on added importance this year as Republicans allied with President Donald Trump say they will try to undo Democrat Joe Biden’s victory and subvert the will of the American people in at least six states.
The Republicans — at least 13 senators and many more House members — are citing Trump's repeated, baseless charges of widespread fraud. They say they will officially object to the results, forcing votes in the Republican-run Senate and the Democratic-controlled House that will almost certainly fail. Several GOP senators have said they won't support the challenges and plan to vote against them.
There was not widespread fraud in the election, as has been confirmed by a range of election officials and by William Barr, who stepped down as attorney general last month. Neither Trump nor any of the lawmakers promising to object to the count have presented credible evidence that would change the outcome.
Nearly all of the legal challenges put forth by Trump and his allies have been dismissed by judges. The Supreme Court, which includes three Trump-nominated justices, has also denied requests to hear a pair of cases aimed at invalidating the outcome of the election in key battleground states.
The congressional meeting on Wednesday is the final step in reaffirming Biden’s win, after the Electoral College officially elected him in December. The meeting is required by the Constitution and includes several distinct steps.
A look at the joint session:
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN CONGRESS MEETS WEDNESDAY?
Under federal law, Congress must meet Jan. 6 to open sealed certificates from each state that contain a record of their electoral votes. The votes are brought into the chamber in special mahogany boxes used for the occasion.