Tuberville to back pro-Trump Electoral College challenge on January 6
U.S. Senator-elect Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) on Saturday confirmed he will vote to reject certain states’ Electoral College submissions on January 6.
Tuberville signed onto a joint statement led by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and including nine additional Republican senators/senator-elects: Senators Ron Johnson (R-WI), James Lankford (R-OK), Steve Daines (R-MT), John Kennedy (R-LA), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Mike Braun (R-IN); and Senators-elect Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Roger Marshall (R-KS) and Bill Hagerty (R-TN).
Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) earlier this week announced he would object to the electors in certain swing states who are set to give their Electoral College votes to Democrat Joe Biden. The effort is being led by Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05), however the formal support of at least one senator was still needed to force floor debate and votes by each chamber of Congress on the respective states in question.
The statement released by the group of senators on Saturday calls for Congress to immediately appoint a commission 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,” the statement advised.
“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,” the GOP senators continued.
At issue regarding the 2020 presidential contest, they advised, are “unprecedented allegations of voter fraud, violations and lax enforcement of election law, and other voting irregularities.” The senators added that “the allegations of fraud and irregularities in the 2020 election exceed any in our lifetimes.”
“And those allegations are not believed just by one individual candidate,” they outlined. “Instead, they are widespread. Reuters/Ipsos polling, tragically, shows that 39% of Americans believe ‘the election was rigged.’ That belief is held by Republicans (67%), Democrats (17%), and Independents (31%).”
The statement cited 1877 as precedent for the type of commission and audit currently being called for. It further noted that Democratic members of Congress raised objections to presidential election results in 1969, 2001, 2005 and 2017.
The senators acknowledged that they expect “most if not all Democrats, and perhaps more than a few Republicans” to oppose their efforts. However, the statement also stressed that “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,” the Republican senators stated.
They concluded, “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.”
Tuberville told Yellowhammer News in an interview before Christmas that he would be doing his “due diligence” before making a final decision on backing a challenge on January 6.
“I want to do what’s best for President Trump and the people of Alabama and the people of this country,” Tuberville said. “And, of course, I’m always going to support President Trump. He’s the best president of my lifetime and has done more for the people of this country and the state of Alabama than anybody. But we want to make sure we do the right thing.”
“You don’t do it just to be doing it,” Alabama’s senator-elect noted of potential challenges. “You’ve got to make sure it’s going to be beneficial. I hope whatever I do is beneficial.”
UPDATE 12:55 p.m.
Tuberville released a statement on his decision.
“We’ve heard the concerns of millions of Americans – including voters from all corners of my home state of Alabama – about the way the presidential election was conducted,” he said.
“It’s especially concerning that some states allegedly failed to properly handle the election according to their own duly enacted state laws. Nothing is more important or more deserving of scrutiny than the integrity of the rules and processes under which our elections are conducted,” Tuberville continued.
“I am excited to support Senator Cruz’s call for an Electoral Commission with full investigative authority to determine the truth and the facts,” he concluded. “The purpose is to protect the democratic process, and to ensure Americans have faith that the process is fair and secure in the long run. I will vote to reject electors from disputed states until that commission has an opportunity to conduct its review, which I believe can and should happen before Inauguration Day. All members of Congress should be committed to ensuring elections are conducted consistent with the Constitution and federal and state laws.”
Tuberville will assume office on Sunday, January 3.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn