President Donald Trump’s extraordinary effort to overturn the presidential election is going before Congress as the lawmakers convene in a joint session to confirm the Electoral College vote won by Joe Biden.
It is a largely ceremonial role that is typically routine. It will be anything but this time, as a group of Republican Senators as well as 100 House Republicans intend to object to the vote. There are eleven Republicans who have sided with the President in a long-shot effort that is all but certain to fail.
Despite Trump's repeated claims of wide scale voter fraud, his own attorney general said that there was no evidence of such, none that would turn the election on its head. Subsequently, Trump has turned up the pressure on his Vice President, Mike Pence.
Other vice presidents, including Al Gore and Richard Nixon, presided over their own defeats, Pence supports those Republican lawmakers mounting challenges to the 2020 outcome. Constitutionally, the Vice president cannot overrule the will of the people.
“I hope that our great vice president comes through for us," Trump said at a rally in Georgia this week. "He’s a great guy. Of course, if he doesn’t come through, I won’t like him quite as much.”
It is not the first time, nor probably the last that lawmakers have challenged results. Democrats did so in 2017 and in 2005.
“There is no constitutionally viable means for the Congress to overturn an election,” said Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., announcing his refusal to join the effort on the eve of the session.