Cotton says he will not oppose electoral vote count – Fox News

Sen. Tom Cotton, who is seen as a rising star in the Republican Party and a major ally for President Trump, said he will not oppose the counting of certified electoral votes during a joint session of Congress later this week to confirm Joe Biden’s election victory.

At least a dozen Republican senators are expected to challenge Biden’s victory. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., was the first Republican to announce plans to object to the certification. He said last week that he cannot vote to certify without “raising the fact that some states, particularly Pennsylvania, failed to follow their own state election laws.”

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Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said he will lead an objection unless there is an emergency 10-day audit of the results by an electoral commission.

The objections will force votes in both the House and Senate, but none are expected to prevail.

Cotton said in the statement that he will “not oppose the counting of certified electoral votes on January 6.” He said that objecting to the votes will not give Trump a second term and will only “embolden those Democrats who want to erode further our system of constitutional government.”

The president responded in a tweet Monday: “Republicans have pluses & minuses, but one thing is sure, THEY NEVER FORGET!”

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Cotton joined Republican Sens. Ben Sasse, Roy Blunt and Mitt Romney, who have spoken out against the decision to challenge. The Wall Street Journal, citing an unnamed source, reported that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been telling colleagues that it was a bad idea to object to the results.

McConnell said from the Senate floor in mid-December, “Our country has, officially, a president-elect and a vice-president-elect. I want to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden. The president-elect is no stranger to the Senate. He’s devoted himself to public service for many years.”

Cotton’s announcement was seen by some Trump supporters on Twitter as an outright betrayal. Dan Whitfield, an Independent candidate for Senate from Arkansas, tweeted, “Cotton is only worried about his own presidential race in 2024.”

The Arkansas Times called Cotton a “staunch Trump defender.”

Cotton’s statement said that he is concerned about “irregularities in the presidential election” and—like many Arkansans “disappointed with the election results.”But he said the “Founders entrusted our elections chiefly to the states—not Congress.” He also said that any adjudication should be fought in court, “not Congress.”

Cruz told Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” that the Supreme Court would be a “better forum” to vet election fraud concerns, but the court did not take the cases. He said in an earlier statement that voter fraud has “posed a persistent challenge in our elections.” But “by any measure, the allegations of fraud and irregularities in the 2020 election exceed any in our lifetimes.” 

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Sen. Lindsey Graham, another top Trump ally, said in a statement Sunday that Cruz has a “high bar” to show there was evidence of problems with the election. The South Carolina senator also said Cruz’s proposal has “zero chance of becoming reality.”

Fox News’ Evie Fordham and The Associated Press contributed to this report 

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