1/04 A New Beginning

January rings in not only a new year, but also renewed hope for democracy. Yesterday’s bombshell exclusive from The Washington Post detailed an hour-long call that President Trump placed to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, in which the President pressured Raffensperger to “find” 11,780 votes to swing Georgia in Trump’s favor. As outrageous as this call was, it confirmed what we already knew: President Trump will stop at nothing to undermine the integrity of the election.

This morning, in advance of the Joint Session of Congress to be held on January 6, the VPP released a “Guide to Counting Electoral College Votes and the January 6, 2021 Meeting of Congress.” The 28-page report details the operation and history of the Electoral Count Act and explains why Members of Congress have no legal or legitimate way to throw out the votes of the American people and the electors they chose. The VPP held a press call today with Outside Counsel to the VPP Ambassador Norm Eisen, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser, Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, and former two-term Governor of New Jersey Christine Todd Whitman on what to expect on Wednesday and how we can repair our democracy following the 2020 election. You can listen to the recording here, or read about it in Bloomberg, Colorado Politics, and Michigan Live.

This evening, CNN published a powerful op-ed co-authored by former Deputy Attorney General under President George H.W. Bush Donald Ayer and former New Hampshire Attorney General Tom Rath, both VPP Advisory Board members, urging Republican leaders that “this is the time to step up to the plate.”

Here is today’s update:

National Update

Joint Session Showdown: A bipartisan group of senators on Sunday urged their colleagues to recognize that the election is over and the President has been freely and fairly elected, while at least a dozen GOP senators prepared to challenge the election results this Wednesday. Meanwhile, all ten living former secretaries of defense published an op-ed decrying any use of the military in an effort to prevent the peaceful transfer of power, underscoring the peril of this moment in our country.

On Guard: National Guard troops are being activated in Washington, D.C. this week, as thousands of President Trump’s supporters are expected to arrive in the nation’s capital to protest the results of the presidential election amid Congress’s certification of the Electoral College vote. Read more here.

No Funny Business: More than 170 prominent business leaders signed a letter urging Congress to accept the Electoral College results that declared Joe Biden the next President of the United States. In the letter published on Monday, the leaders write, “this presidential election has been decided and it is time for the country to move forward. President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have won . . . . There should be no further delay in the orderly transfer of power.” Read more here.

State Updates

Arizona: Secretary of State Katie Hobbs on Monday called President Trump’s attempt to coerce her Georgia counterpart into changing election results “appalling” but “not surprising.” “Appalling I don’t think begins to describe my response to that . . . . He’s asking for somebody to take illegal action, and he should be held to account for that.” Read more here.

Georgia: President Trump has filed another lawsuit seeking to overturn President-elect Biden’s victory in Georgia. In a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in Atlanta on New Year’s Eve, the President asks the court to decertify the Georgia election before Congress votes Wednesday to confirm Biden’s victory. A hearing is set for Tuesday. Read more here.

Michigan: Attorney General Dana Nessel on Monday doubled down on her criticism of attorneys for President Trump and others for their attempts to overturn the results of the presidential election. “Just because they are representing the president of the United States, does not mean that they are held to a different or lower standard than any other attorney that appears before a court of law,” she said. Read more here.

Message Guidance: Joint Session of Congress

  • On January 6, Congress will meet to count the Electoral College votes submitted by the states, and Joe Biden will be confirmed yet again as the 46th President of the United States.
  • Despite attempts by President Trump and his allies to overturn the will of the voters, Congress will not change a single state’s Electoral College slate.
  • The Constitution is clear: when the electoral votes are counted in the “presence of the Senate and House of Representatives,” the person with the greatest number of votes for President shall be the President.
  • If a Member of Congress objects to the electoral votes, she must submit the objection in writing and it must be signed by at least one member of the House and one Senator.
    • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reportedly urged Senate Republicans not to object to the election results when Congress convenes on January 6.
    • Members of Congress should respect the will of the American voters—not to mention the long and hard hours spent by tens of thousands of people in each state to get the count right. The states administered the election—as they have throughout American history—and they did it well.
  • Any attempt by members of Congress to overturn the Electoral College will fail—as more than 60 lawsuits since the election have failed because they have no merit.
    • The objectors may attempt to rehash old arguments from those cases, but the answer is simple: The election was fair, secure, and free.
    • The votes have been counted, they have been certified by the governors of each state, and they have been tested in the courts. The results are clear: Biden won.
  • Any attempt now to subvert the count of Electoral College votes is an attempt to undo the will of the American voters.
    • This might be a last ditch attempt to appease Trump’s ego. But it’s time to move on.
    • The New York Post—which endorsed Trump for president—put it well: “it’s time to end this dark charade.”
  • As the American people have determined with their votes, and as the Electoral College confirmed on December 14, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be sworn in as the next President and Vice President of the United States on January 20.

 

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