A day after Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) said that he would not object to the upcoming certification of the states’ electoral college votes, President Donald Trump on Monday set his sights on the potential 2024 presidential candidate for refusing to join 11 current and incoming senators in challenging President-elect Joe Biden‘s 2020 election win.
“How can you certify an election when the numbers being certified are verifiably WRONG,” the president tweeted Monday morning. “You will see the real numbers tonight during my speech, but especially on JANUARY 6th. @SenTomCotton Republicans have pluses & minuses, but one thing is sure, THEY NEVER FORGET!”
On Sunday night, Cotton said he would not join the nearly a dozen current and incoming senators led by Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) in challenging the electoral votes from certain swing states on Wednesday in a joint session of Congress, stating that such an effort could “establish unwise precedents.”
Also argued in his statement published Sunday evening is that challenging the electoral votes would go against the founding fathers’ intentions.
“The Founders entrusted our elections chiefly to the states — not Congress. They entrusted the election of our president to the people, acting through the Electoral College — not Congress. And they entrusted the adjudication of election disputes to the courts — not Congress,” Cotton’s statement reads.
“Under the Constitution and federal law, Congress’s power is limited to counting electoral votes submitted by the state,” he said.
Additionally, the 2024 hopeful warned that if Congress tossed out the votes of swing states like Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, where Trump and his allies claim widespread election fraud occurred, it would “take away the power to choose the president from the people.”
On top of that, he argued that such an effort would throw the Electoral College and the megaphone it gives to tinier states like his home state of Arkansas into jeopardy and help Democrats “achieve their longstanding goal of eliminating the Electoral College.”
Furthermore, he said if Congress overturns the Electoral College’s vote, it would “take another big step toward federalizing election law.”
Other current GOP senators who have pledged to object to certification include Sens. Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), Ron Johnson (Wis.), James Lankford (Okla.), Steve Daines (Mont.), John Kennedy (La.), and Mike Braun (Ind.). Senators-elect who have promised to also object are Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.), Roger Marshall (Kan.), Bill Hagerty (Tenn.), Tommy Tuberville (Ala.).
Cotton is far from the only Republican refusing to object to certification. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and other GOP leaders have already congratulated Biden on his victory and have been urging their colleagues to not object to Wednesday’s certification.
On Sunday in a Twitter thread, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), another typically reliable Trump ally, also cast doubt on the objection effort, calling it a “political dodge.”
Overwhelmingly, experts have stated that the effort to object to electoral vote certification is a longshot and will most certainly fail.
According to a Sunday explainer piece from The Wall Street Journal, it takes one House representative and one senator to issue an objection to a state’s electoral votes. For each objection to a given state’s electoral votes, lawmakers from each chamber break for two hours at most to debate the objection. When debate ends, a simple majority vote is held on the objection, and both the House and Senate must agree for the objection to be successful.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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Trump: Tanks to Ukraine could escalate to use of ‘NUKES’
Former President Donald Trump stated bluntly on Truth Social, “FIRST COME THE TANKS, THEN COME THE NUKES. Get this crazy war ended, NOW. So easy to do!”
Trump was referring to the escalation of war in Ukraine. He, like many other commentators and lawmakers, are warning that the decision to continue sending weapons – and now tanks – could potentially lead to the use of “nuclear weapons.”
It’s mission creep and it’s dangerous, they say.
Why? Because Russian President Valdimir Putin has indicated in two different speeches that he would use nuclear weapons to defend Russia, if needed. Those warnings are not just bluster but a very real possibility.
And the escalation of war is visible.
Russia launched 55 missiles strikes across Ukraine Thursday, leaving 11 dead. The strikes come one day after the United States and Germany agreed to send tanks to Ukraine in an effort to aide the country. 47 of the 55 missiles were shot down according to Ukraine’s Air Force command.
Eleven lives were lost and another 11 were injured additionally leaving 35 buildings damaged in the wake of the attacks. According to The New York Times, Denys Shmyhal, said in a post on Telegram. “The main goal is energy facilities, providing Ukrainians with light and heat,” he said.
Ukraine is now demanding that they need F-16 fighter jets. In a post on twitter Ukrainian lawmaker, Oleksiy Goncharenko said, “Missiles again over Ukraine. We need F16.”
Morning. Missiles again over Ukraine. We need F16.
— Oleksiy Goncharenko (@GoncharenkoUa) January 26, 2023
The US has abstained from sending advanced jets in the chances that a volatile decision could foster more dangerous attacks like former President Trump’s post on Truth referred to. If the US did authorize the decision to lend Ukraine the F-16 jets Netherlands’ foreign minister, Wopke Hoekstra, would be willing to supply them. According to The New York Times, Hoekstra told Dutch lawmakers, “We are open-minded… There are no taboos.”
F-16 fighter jets are complex to work on, they are not the average aircraft that can be learned in a matter of weeks. It can take months for pilots to learn how to fly these birds. European and US officials have the concern that Ukrainian forces could potentially use the jets to fly into Russian airspace and launch attacks on Russian soil.
Western allies are trying to avoid such a provocation, because that could lead to nuclear warfare in reference to what Putin has said he would do to defend his country.
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