Mark Warner on Electoral College: ‘It will probably be a wild next 72 hours’
What should be an uneventful next 24 hours could actually end up being a wild next 72 hours with respect to the final certification of the votes of the Electoral College, U.S. Sen. Mark Warner told reporters on a conference call Tuesday.
“The guesstimate that’s been given to us is that each state’s contesting could take four hours. That would make take a couple hours of debate, literally up to a couple hours of voting, particularly on the House side. And obviously time in between as you reconvene,” said Warner, who offered up a timeline for the expected contest of the 2020 election from a handful of Republican senators and a disturbing number of Republican House members that could take the final tally into Thursday afternoon.
“We know the results – 306 votes will be for President-elect Joe Biden, and substantially less obviously for Donald Trump. But again, in an unprecedented way, Donald Trump and his unwillingness to acknowledge this loss is continuingly trying to disrupt the process and our democracy. And unfortunately, he’s now being enabled by at least 12 of senators on the Republican side, who will help bring about this process. It will not change the results,” Warner said.
Biden won the election by more than 7 million votes, four and a half percentage points, and the 306-232 Electoral College margin that Warner half-referenced.
Trump’s legal team has filed more than 60 lawsuits to challenge voting issues in six states that, had they been successful, could have influenced the most important of the election totals – the Electoral College.
The legal effort failed, all 50 states have certified their results, and the only item left is the constitutionally-mandated congressional Electoral College count.
An effort to formally challenge the election in the Senate led by Missouri Republican Josh Hawley and Texas Republican Ted Cruz has the support of a total of 12 Republican senators.
Reports have at least 140 House Republicans, including the newly-elected Fifth District congressman, Bob Good, will offer challenges in the lower chamber.
Warner, testing his skills as a political handicapper, offered that “between 75 and 80” senators will ultimately vote to certify the election
“The numbers, at least in the Senate, who are part of this cabal, who are blindly following Donald Trump, are really a very small minority. And they’re, for the most part, either new senators who may not understand the process, or a number of folks who want to try to run for president in 2024, and hope to inherit the Trump base,” Warner said.
Basically, yeah, playing politics.
But not without repercussions.
Warner is a long-standing member of the Senate Intelligence Committee. A point of emphasis in the months leading up to the November election was that politicians on both sides of the aisle not engage in activities and discourse undermining the democratic process to hand ammunition in the form of propaganda to our adversaries in Russia, China, Iran.
“And unfortunately, we again see Donald Trump once again putting his own personal ego at an American national interest, and now being enabled by at least a dozen members in the Senate, and a number of members in the House. The hypocrisy of this effort is stunning,” Warner said.
Stunning, indeed, and Warner said the county “could be going through a couple of very rocky days,” as Trump has called his supporters to amass in the nation’s capital to protest and potentially create violent circumstances.
Warner said he has been in touch with law enforcement because of the potential for domestic terrorism, emphasized that “our processes will be protected.”
“This is an unfortunate way for this failed president to exit his last few days in office, but we will get through this,” Warner said. “I think at the by by the time we emerge on Thursday, at some point, we will once again see, at least in the Senate, the same kind of overwhelming majorities that passed COVID relief, that overcame the Trump veto of the NDA. I think we will also see overwhelming majorities, close to 80 senators, stand by our Constitution, and certify the results of electing and certifying Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as president and vice president.
“But stay tuned, it will probably be a wild next 72 hours.”
Story by Chris Graham