Incoming Republican congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has expressed support for the far-right QAnon conspiracy, told a crowd outside a gun store in Georgia that she will not vote to confirm the results of the 2020 election for president-elect Joe Biden.
The congresswoman-elect told a campaign rally crowd on Friday that she will join Alabama congressman Mo Brooks “and many of my other colleagues” to dispute the Electoral College votes, which will be certified during a joint session of Congress on 6 January.
“I’ve seen a lot of evidence of voter fraud and these absentee ballots are out of control,” she said. “I’ve got President Trump’s back. You wanna know why? He has our back.”
In a post on social media sharing video of the rally, she said: “Georgia Republicans are FIRED UP for Congress to do our job. That’s why I’m excited to join @RepMoBrooks to REJECT electoral votes from states with massive voter fraud. We have @realDonaldTrump’s back because he’s always had ours. #FightForTrump”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has reportedly warned GOP lawmakers against disputing the results, fearing an ongoing assault on the election could damage an already-fractured Congress and the party’s control of the Senate hanging in the balance with Georgia’s Senate runoff elections.
Mr Trump and his allies and right-wing media have continued to amplify conspiracies and baseless claims of widespread voter fraud to undermine the outcome of the election, with dozens of spurious lawsuits and legal challenges in states he lost, most of which have been withdrawn or dismissed, including twice by the US Supreme Court.
The congresswoman-elect will enter a Democratically controlled House in January after repeatedly sparring with its members – including posing with a rifle next to images of progressive lawmakers, telling her supporters that she will “kick that b****” Nancy Pelosi “out of Congress”, and, this week, calling a mask mandate at the Capitol an “oppressive violation of my rights.”
“Congress DECIDES who wins the Presidential election when we vote to certify electoral college votes on Jan 6,” she said on Twitter on Friday. “I will NOT certify a stolen election.”
On 14 December, the nation’s 538 electors convened in their respective states to cast votes for the president. Mr Trump received 232 votes to president-elect Biden’s 306, clearing the 270 votes needed to declare a winner.
As outlined in the Constitution, lawmakers meet for a joint congressional session at 1pm on 6 January, presided over by vice president Mike Pence.
But even if the president’s strongest supporters in Congress make the move to reject the results, led by an effort from congressman Brooks that the president has endorsed and his allies have echoed on social media, the challenge is certain to fail.
A challenge would need a willing Republican senator to support it, as federal law says it must be co-signed by a member from each chamber. No senator has announced their support to do so.
If one does, the joint session would then break for debate in the two chambers, and both must agree to reject the votes for a challenge to stand. But the Democratically controlled House would snuff out any effort by that point.