Cruz Set to Lead Group of GOP Senators in Opposing Certification

A larger group of Republican senators is preparing a push to delay and even oppose certification of President Donald Trump’s loss, rejecting leadership who warned against attempts to undermine the election, two people familiar with the matter said.

Congress on Jan. 6 is required by the U.S. Constitution to meet and accept the results of the Electoral College, a gathering that is typically a formality.

Instead, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas plans to call for a delay of certification, and a 10-day investigation into accusations of wrongdoing, which have been stoked by Trump but repeatedly dismissed in court, the people said.

Trump has yet to provide evidence of widespread voter fraud, as have members of his administration including Attorney General William Barr, who stepped down before Christmas.

Cruz’s call for an investigation and an unprecedented delay in formally certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s win is seen as a condition that’s all but certain to not be met, the people said. Cruz is poised to then oppose certification.

Still, several other senators are in talks to follow Cruz, they added. It’s not yet clear how many will, and whether any or all will vote against certification, or simply object or abstain. Discussions between senators’ offices were ongoing on Saturday, the people said.

Republican Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri has alreadysaid he’ll object, teeing up a lengthy process on Jan. 6 that’s unlikely to stop the results but may splinter the GOP.

John Thune, the Senate’s No. 2 Republican, said last week that attempts to object to the electoral count would “go down like a shot dog in the Senate.” He advised GOP lawmakers who plan to take part in such an effort to reconsider.

Trump responded by urging someone — for example, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem — to launch a primary challenge against Thune in 2022.

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