In addition to the “dozens” of House Republicans who are committed to objecting to the election results, Brooks said there are “multiple” Senate Republicans who are now receptive to the effort, though they declined to name. Sen. Election Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), Whom Trump has recently praised repeatedly on Twitter, said he is considering the idea.
“More and more congressmen and senators are being persuaded that the election was stolen, ”said Brooks, who claimed that the effort was gaining momentum.
However, Sen. John Thune (RS.D.) told reporters on Monday that the House GOP’s effort “is going down like a bullet dog.”
Other members who were in attendance included some of Trump’s staunch allies, such as Rep. Jody Haise (R-Ga.), Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.). Rep.-Elect Marjorie Taylor Green (R-Ga.).
“Big meeting today with @realDonaldTrump, @VP, President’s legal team, @freedomcaucus and other members of Congress,” Hais tweeted. “I will object to Georgia’s electors on January 6. The courts refuse to hear the president’s legal case. We are going to make sure people can!”
But even if a senator joins the House GOP’s attempt to exclude the election results – which is necessary to force a deliberation and vote on the case – the effort is almost certain to fail.
The House is headed by Democrats, while the Senate GOP does not have a huge appetite for effort. Senate Leader Mitch McConnell also warned Senate Republicans not to join last week. And House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has raised questions about the impossible.
Still, the entire episode can be a mess – and become an ultimate Trump loyalty test. Brooks, who said there are plans to challenge the results in six states, said the total debate time could be around 18 hours. This means that the counting process can begin from 7 January.
During Monday’s meeting at the White House – where lawmakers piled meatballs and pigs mid-afternoon snacks into blankets – Trump spoke with members for more than an hour about how he would play outside on January 6. He discussed logistics, such as what would be the language of objection for each state and how the floor proceedings would work.
Groups of conservatives are still debating whether to put the objectionable language into concise or elaborate claims of widespread voter fraud, which they have not proved and which have been repeatedly dismissed in court. And while only one senator and representative can be the main sponsors of every objection, scores of other MPs will likely be listed as cosponsors because so many members are eager to join the effort.
Meanwhile, the goal of the meeting with Pence was to ensure that they were all on the same page, as the vice president would preside over the proceedings and would have to rule on various objections and procedural issues.
“We are trying to make sure that we understand what their approach is to procedural requirements, so we can comply with them,” the MPs said. “Pence would have a huge amount of discretion, although I think the rules he would make would be very cut and dry.”
“It’s still somewhat liquid, because it doesn’t happen very often,” Brooks said.