Senior Republican says further efforts to overturn election for Trump would go ‘down like a shot dog’

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<p>Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) speaks during a Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee hearing on the logistics of transporting a coronavirus vaccine on Capitol Hill, in Washington, DC, on 10 December 2020.</p> ((Reuters))

Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) speaks during a Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee hearing on the logistics of transporting a coronavirus vaccine on Capitol Hill, in Washington, DC, on 10 December 2020.

((Reuters))

South Dakota senator John Thune has said that any attempt to challenge the Electoral College’s results that will confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory, would “go down like a shot dog”.

Alaska representative Mo Brooks announced earlier this month that he will challenge the Electoral College results when Congress meets to confirm Mr Biden as the next US president on 6 January.

Mr Brooks told The Washington Post: “In my judgement, this is the worst election theft in the history of the United States” and is expected to object to the electors chosen for six states Mr Biden won in 3 November election.

Mr Thune, who is the number two Republican in the Senate, told reporters on Monday that he does not know of any senators who have committed to joining the effort, which has gained backing from multiple House representatives.

“The thing they’ve got to remember is, it’s just not going anywhere. I mean, in the Senate it would go down like a shot dog,” he said on Monday, according to Bloomberg.

“And I just don’t think it makes a lot of sense to put everybody through this when you know what the ultimate outcome is going to be,” Mr Thune added.

Although Mr Biden was declared the winner of the presidential election last month, Donald Trump has repeatedly falsely claimed that there was widespread voter fraud and has still not conceded.

Mr Trump and his team have had more than 50 legal challenges dismissed over the last month, as he and his allies are still attempting to overturn 3 November’s election results. There is no evidence for the claims.

Mr Thune’s comments came just hours after GOP members of Congress met privately with Mr Trump at the White House to discuss plans to object to the Electoral College results, according to The Hill.

On Monday afternoon, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows confirmed the meeting, tweeting that it took place “in the Oval Office with President @realDonaldTrump, preparing to fight back against mounting evidence of voter fraud.”

Joining Mr Brooks at the meeting were Matt Gaetz of Florida, Georgia lawmakers Jody Hice and Representative-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Jim Jordan of Ohio, who all tweeted about it.

Bloomberg reported that Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, Louie Gohmert of Texas and Andy Biggs of Arizona were also at the meeting.

“I will lead an objection to Georgia’s electors on Jan 6,” Mr Hice tweeted on Monday, before adding: “The courts refuse to hear the President’s legal case. We’re going to make sure the People can!”

President Trump said on Monday that he has spoken to incoming senator Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, who will be sworn in on 3 January, about the objection, but he has not confirmed whether he will join the effort.

In order to force a debate and vote on an objection, both a representative from the House and the Senate need to object in writing.

Several high-profile Republicans and Trump allies, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have urged representatives to not object at the vote on 6 January, warning that it could harm the party politically.

Reiterating this claim on Monday night, Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham told reporters that he thinks any efforts would “probably do more harm than good”.

Last week, the US Electoral College confirmed Mr Biden as the winner of the presidential election, with 306 electoral votes to Mr Trump’s 232.

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