President Donald Trump is planning to return to D.C. ahead of his annual New Year’s Eve party at Mar-a-Largo, in anticipation for a planned disruption by Republicans in Congress in a bid to overturn the election and President-elect Joe Biden’s win.
The president and First Lady Melania Trump are both expected to leave Florida tomorrow morning as guests start arriving for the New Year’s Eve party.
Three sources familiar with the matter say that the lame-duck president is expected to leave Palm Beach as guest continue to arrive for the party at the south Florida club.
Guests had already been informed that Trump would be in attendance for the shindig where tickets went for $1000-a-head.
Trump’s planned to return to the White House comes as Republicans announced plans to disrupt certification of Biden’s win.
The president was also said to have concerns over whether Iran will retaliate in the coming days on the one year anniversary of the U.S. drone strike that killed the country’s top general, Qasem Soleimani, CNN reports.
Three sources familiar with the matter say that President Donald Trump is expected to leave Palm Beach, Florida, as guests continue to arrive for the New Year’s Eve party at Mar-a-Lago
First lady Melania Trump listens as President Donald Trump speaks to reporters before his New Year’s Eve party at his Mar-a-Lago property, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019, in Palm Beach. Tickets for this year’s party cost $1000
The president had been at Mar-a-Lago on January 3, 2020, when he ordered the strike killing Soleimani. One source speculated that the killing could have contributed to Trump’s early departure.
January 6 has been a crucial date on Trump’s radar while he’s been in Florida. Sources familiar with conversations between the president and his associates say that Trump has lobbied senators on getting them to object to the election results along with House conservatives.
Trump has spent the majority of Wednesday on Twitter blasting various Republicans for not doing more to stop his alleged voter fraud, claiming Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is being controlled by Stacey Abrams. He’s also falsely claimed that he has enough votes to flip Georgia.
‘@BrianKempGA, his puppet Lt. Governor @GeoffDuncanGA, and Secretary of State, are disasters for Georgia. Won’t let professionals get anywhere near Fulton County for signature verifications, or anything else,’ Trump claimed. ‘They are virtually controlled by @staceyabrams & the Democrats. Fools!’
Trump has spent the majority of Wednesday on Twitter blasting various Republicans for not doing more to stop his alleged voter fraud, claiming Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is being controlled by Stacey Abrams
Trump has also falsely claimed that he’s had enough votes to flip Georgia
His early return comes as Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri became the first member of the upper chamber to voice his support for contesting the electoral college vote on Wednesday.
Hawley, the junior senator from Missouri who was elected in 2018, said that ‘some states, particularly Pennsylvania, failed to follow their own state election laws.’
‘At the very least, Congress should investigate,’ he said in a statement.
‘For these reasons, I will follow the same Democrat members of Congress have in years past and object during the certification process on January 6 to raise these critical issues,’ Hawley explained.
Hawley did not provide any evidence for his claims.
Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri got into a Twitter spat with Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, on Wednesday
Next Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence will preside over a meeting of Congress when the results of the Electoral College vote are read and tallied.
It’s generally a formality, but as Hawley pointed out, Democrats did object to certain states’ vote counts, including during the 2016 and 2004 races.
Pence refused to sign on to the plan that would upend Congress certifying the election for Biden.
Earlier this week, Rep. Louie Gohmert and Arizona’s slate of Republican Electoral College ‘electors’ filed a federal lawsuit to get a judge to say Pence has the power to pick pro-Trump electors when he presides over the Congressional session where he will finalize the presidential election results.
Politico reported late Tuesday night that a legal filing in the case indicated that Gohmert and the electors’ lawyers had reached out to Pence in advance, trying to work out a deal – and it was shot down.
In order for challenges to be debated, both a House member and a senator have to sign on to an objection.
House Democrats raised concerns after the 2016 race over state tallies in Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Texas, Mississippi and the Carolinas, however no Democratic senator joined the effort.
Biden, at the time serving as vice president, gaveled down the protests because they weren’t joined by a senator.
Vice President Mike Pence refused to sign on to a plan that would have him choose to read the votes cast by President Donald Trump’s ‘electors’ in states that President-elect Joe Biden won when he presides over a Congressional session to finalize the election on January 6
In the 2004 cycle, then California Sen. Barbara Boxer objected alongside several House Democrats to Ohio’s results citing ‘numerous, serious election irregularities’ that led to a ‘a significant disenfranchisement of voters.’
At the time, CNN reported that the Democrats made their move to gain support for future election reform – not because they thought it would actually overturn the results of the election, which was won by Republican President George W. Bush.
Unlike Trump, who will applaud the effort, John Kerry, the 2004 Democratic nominee, put out a statement saying he would not take part in the protest.
Trump has asked his supporters to march on Washington, D.C., for the third time since his election loss.
Once Hawley and House Republicans object to a state’s vote count, lawmakers will go back to their respective chambers and discuss the merits of the objection for two hours.
Only a majority vote is needed to overrule the objections.
With the Democrats controlling the House and several Republicans in the Senate publicly saying that the election is over – and Biden is the winner – Hawley’s objection will trigger a delay, but not flip the results to Trump.
Trump, however, has refused to concede the election to Biden and continued to rant about widespread voter fraud, of which there is no evidence, on Wednesday during his Florida vacation to Mar-a-Lago.
Rep. Louie Gohmert and Arizona’s slate of Republican ‘electors’ have sued Vice President Mike Pence in an effort to get a Texas-base federal judge to give Pence the right to choose which electoral votes count
Prior to Hawley’s announcement, Trump had been pressuring incoming Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville to register objections on January 6.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell asked senators not to engage because they’d be forced to go on the record and by voting in favor of Biden’s win, could be in danger of being taken down by pro-Trump forces within the Republican Party.
On December 15, the day after the Electoral College met, McConnell came on the Senate floor and congratulated Biden as president-elect.
Speaking to reporters at her weekly press conference, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi responded to Hawley’s announcement by pointing out that it wouldn’t change the election’s outcome.
‘I have no doubt that on next Wednesday, a week from today, that Joe Biden will be confirmed by the acceptance of the vote of the Electoral College as the 46th president of the United States,’ Pelosi said.
Jen Psaki, Biden’s incoming White House press secretary, was equally confident on a Zoom call with reporters later Wednesday afternoon.
President Donald Trump has been pressuring Republican senators to object to states’ Electoral College vote counts, as a senator and a House member have to sign on for there to be a debate and a vote. Depending on how many states Republicans object to, it could hold up certifying the election for Joe Biden for hours
President Donald Trump is encouraging his supporters to come to Washington, D.C. the day that Congress certifies the Electoral College results. With Hawley saying he’ll join in an effort to object to states’ votes, the process could take hours
‘This is merely a formality,’ she said. ‘It certainly should be treated as such by people who are covering it and regardless of whatever antics anyone is up to on January 6 President-elect Biden will be sworn in on January 20.’
Psaki also pointed out that there was a precedent of election losers certifying the results.
‘Vice President Biden presided over the certification of Donald Trump’s win in 2017, Vice President Nixon presided over the certification of John F. Kennedy’s win, Vice President Gore presided over the certification of George W. Bush’s win,’ Psaki said.
Biden didn’t run for president in 2016, but supported his party’s Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton.