The president’s allies and observers on Capitol Hill, aware of the request, had openly suspected whether a Republican senator might join the crusade. When Senator-elected Tommy Tuberville, a former soccer coach at Auburn University, Alabama, left the door open to appeal in an interview with a local newspaper, Mr. Trump took to Twitter to waste praise on him, calling him “a great champion and man of courage”.
“More Republican senators should follow suit,” wrote Trump.
But it was Mr. Hawley, not Mr. Tuberville, who ultimately threw his hat in the ring first, a distinction Mr. Trump or his legions of followers are likely to notice.
Mr. Hawley, who came to Washington in 2019 after defeating incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill, has embraced Mr. Trump’s populism in his short Senate stint, campaigning for $ 2,000 pandemic relief and railing against social media -Companies used. He is widely viewed as a potential candidate for the 2024 presidential election.
“How to run for president on the Republican side in 2024,” said Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, the top Democrat on the committee that oversees the certification process. “You are joining an attempted coup. Democracy will prevail. “
Speaking at a press conference Wednesday, new White House press secretary Jennifer Psaki said “the American people spoke out forcefully in these elections” and described the certification of the electoral college results by Congress as “just a formality”.
“Regardless of what anyone plans to do on January 6th, President-elect Biden will be sworn in on the 20th,” said Ms. Psaki.
Mr. Hawley’s challenge is not unprecedented in modern times either. Democrats in both the House and Senate challenged certification of the 2004 election results, and House Democrats alone attempted to question the 2016 and 2000 results, albeit without Senate support.