Sen. Josh Hawley. Photo: AP
Sen. Josh Hawley. Photo: AP

What did Josh Hawley object to the presidential election?

Josh Hawley cited unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud and accused the state of Pennsylvania of failing to adhere to its election laws by extending the deadline for mail-in ballots, an argument that has repeatedly been rejected by federal courts, Kansas City reported.

An outspoken critic of the tech industry, Hawley also accused social media companies of election interference on Biden’s behalf.

“I cannot vote to certify the electoral college results on January 6 without raising the fact that some states, particularly Pennsylvania, failed to follow their own state election laws,” Hawley said in a Wednesday statement.

“And I cannot vote to certify without pointing out the unprecedented effort of mega corporations, including Facebook and Twitter, to interfere in this election, in support of Joe Biden. At the very least, Congress should investigate allegations of voter fraud and adopt measures to secure the integrity of our elections. But Congress has so far failed to act.”

A Biden transition spokesman declined to comment on Hawley’s objection, pointing instead to remarks the president-elect made in December after the Electoral College vote certification.

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“We the People voted,” Biden said then. “Faith in our institutions held. The integrity of our elections remains intact. And now it’s time to turn the page, as we’ve done throughout our history.”

Hawley’s announcement comes after weeks of Republican office holders seeking to overturn Biden’s victory despite the fact that he won the popular vote by the largest margin of any challenger against an incumbent president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s victory over Herbert Hoover in 1932.

100 GOP lawmakers will vote to not accept Joe Biden’s victory

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., thinks “upwards of” 100 GOP lawmakers will vote to not accept Joe Biden’s victory when Congress convenes on Jan. 6 to count the Electoral College votes.

“I hope I’m wrong. I’m guessing it will be upwards of 100,” Kinzinger told Charlie Sykes Wednesday.

Kinzinger, one of the few Republicans to speak out against the conspiracy theories President Donald Trump embraces surrounding the election, told Sykes that he’s “over the undermining of democracy and frankly, the massive damage that’s being done with this.

Democrats dismiss the effort

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., dismissed the effort on Wednesday when asked about Hawley's announcement, NBC News reported.

"I have no doubt that on a Wednesday, a week from today, that Joe Bidenwill be confirmed by the acceptance of the vote of the Electoral College as the 46th president of the United States," she said.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., similarly dismissed the effort as futile but attacked Hawley and Trump for the efforts to legitimize "conspiracy" theories.

President-elect Joe Biden speaks Monday, Nov. 9, 2020, at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del. AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster
President-elect Joe Biden speaks Monday, Nov. 9, 2020, at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del. AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

"The effort by the sitting President of the United States to overturn the results is patently undemocratic. The effort by others to amplify and burnish his ludicrous claims of fraud is equally revolting," Schumer said in a speech on the Senate floor Wednesday. "This is America. We have elections. We have results. We make arguments based on the fact and reason, not conspiracy and fantasy."

Fellow Democrat Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., called the effort "grossly irresponsible."

"Sen. Hawley’s actions are grossly irresponsible. He’s attempting to undermine our democratic process, fuel Trump’s lies about voter fraud, and delay the certification of Biden’s win," Van Hollen wrote on Twitter. "In the end, this reckless stunt will fail, and Joe Biden will become President on Jan. 20, 2021."

Van Hollen noted on CNN that this will put Senate Republicans in an uncomfortable position.

"I can tell you Senate Republicans did not want to have this vote in the Senate because either they're gonna have to, you know, show their loyalty to Donald Trump by voting against reality, because we know that Joe Biden won these states, or they're going to have to, you know, support the outcome of the democratic process and get Donald Trump upset."

"I hope they will stand up for democracy and the rule of law," Van Hollen added.

Reaction from Republicans

Hawley's move was both celebrated and criticized publicly by fellow Republicans, many of whom have split on Trump's attempts to overturn the election.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican who has become a leading voice against the president's efforts, mocked Hawley on Twitter.

"Internal monologue: 'I want to be President so I decided to try to get POTUS tweet saying I’m great even though I know this isn’t going anywhere, but hey... I’ll blame someone else when it fails,'" Kinzinger wrote, seeming to tie Hawley's effort to his 2024 presidential aspirations.

Rep. Brooks, who is leading the effort in the House, praised Hawley on Twitter.

"BAM! The fight for America’s Republic IS ON!" Brooks wrote.

Who is Josh Hawley – First Senator challenging certification of Biden’s win
Republcan Mo Brooks reports on Hawley's objection on Twitter.

The last time a senator supported an objection of Electoral College votes was in January 2005 after the 2004 election. Then-Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., backed Ohio U.S. Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones’ objection to the electoral votes in Ohio, the deciding state in George W. Bush’s election victory over Democrat John Kerry.

Josh Hawley's career

U.S. Senator Josh Hawley took office in January 2019. Raised in rural Missouri, U.S. Senator Josh Hawley previously served as Missouri’s Attorney General. There he earned a reputation for taking on the big and the powerful to protect Missouri workers and families. He has battled big government and big business, special interests, organized crime, and anyone who would threaten the well-being of Missourians, cited Hawley.senate.

A native of small town Lexington, Missouri in rural Lafayette County, Senator Hawley graduated from Rockhurst High School in Kansas City. After graduating from Stanford University in 2002 and Yale Law School in 2006, he moved back home to mid-Missouri with his wife, Erin, where they started a family. They are the proud parents of two young boys, Elijah and Blaise.

As Attorney General, he fought the Washington overreach threatening farms and family businesses, including the Waters of the United States Rule and the Clean Power Plan. Senator Hawley has also taken on big opioid manufacturers, challenging their unethical marketing practices that helped create an epidemic of opioid abuse. He cracked down on human trafficking in Missouri, leading the largest anti-trafficking bust in Missouri history. And he stood up to big tech, launching investigations of the most powerful companies in the world—Google and Facebook—to protect Missourians, their data, and the First Amendment.

The youngest Senator in America, Senator Hawley serves on the Senate Committees on the Judiciary; Armed Services; Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs; Small Business and Entrepreneurship; and the Special Committee on Aging.

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