► What happens on January 6 after each presidential election?
According to the law, it is on January 6 that senators and deputies meet to count the votes of the elected electors during the presidential election of November 3, 2020. In Congress, the president of the Senate – who is none other than the Vice President of the United States – opens the envelopes received from each state, where the large voters gathered to vote in December.
As the results are already known, this is only a formality. But not quite this year, because elected Republican hardliners intend to challenge the victory of Joe Biden. The procedure allows a deputy and a senator to express their opposition. However, if many elected Republican members of the House of Representatives had announced that they intended to object, no senator seemed determined to imitate them.
Josh Hawley, a 41-year-old elected senator from Missouri, however, announced Wednesday, December 30, his intention to challenge the results. A dozen other senators have since plunged into the breach, led by Ted Cruz, who was one of Donald Trump’s opponents during the 2016 Republican Party primaries.
► Can this procedure be successful?
For this approach to succeed, the two chambers would have to reject the November 3 results after a debate. The scenario is unimaginable, with Joe Biden’s allies controlling the House of Representatives. And even in the Senate, many elected Republicans will not follow the radical approach of their colleagues.
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But the day of January 6 still promises to be eventful. On the one hand because the debates that will trigger the sling of the last supporters of Donald Trump can last until late in the evening and fuel rumors of fraud. On the other hand, because on that same day, the president called on his supporters to take to the streets to support the maneuver. Violent groups, such as the far-right “Proud Boys” militia, are expected to march through the streets of the capital again.
► Why this hard-hitting?
Donald Trump has obviously not given up the presidency. But with what strategy? The justice system has, on more than 60 occasions, rejected the complaints filed by his campaign. The outgoing president nevertheless continues to insist that he has been a victim of fraud and is counting on the debates in Congress so that the elements which, according to him, are the basis of these accusations are exposed to the public. “And after people see the facts, there is still plenty to come …”, he tweeted.
For the elected Republicans who follow him, the calculation is quite different. For Josh Hawley, as for Ted Cruz, the real goal is not so much to prevent Joe Biden from entering the Oval Office as to take his place in 2025. Their names appear on the lists of likely candidates for the Party’s nomination. Republican for the next presidential election, and both dream of taking over from Donald Trump.
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Ted Cruz, 50, who won in Iowa at the start of the 2016 primaries thanks to the support of evangelical voters, wants to find this electorate, now loyal to Donald Trump. As for Josh Hawley, he has been the main advocate in the Senate for the idea of a check for all Americans as part of the stimulus package. An idea considered too expensive by the leaders of the party … but defended by the White House.