SAN DIEGO — Republicans in Congress have one final option to challenge the 2020 presidential election outcome. However, an expert from UC San Diego says it's "entirely impossible" that it would succeed.
On Jan. 6, both houses of Congress will meet to vote on the Electoral College results. It's a Constitutional formality that gives Congress the ultimate, final say in who will be the next president.
"Normally, this is what marks an election as over," says UC San Diego Political Science Department Chair Thad Kousser. "But with this year, everything is different."
If one Representative and one Senator object to the Electoral College results during that vote, both houses have to go to their separate chambers and vote on the objection. If both agree to the objection, electoral votes can be thrown out.
Alabama Republican Rep. Mo Brooks has already said he will object. He's looking for a Senator to join him.
"In my judgment, if only lawful votes cast by eligible American citizens are counted, President Trump handily won the electoral college and a second term as president," Brooks said in a speech to the House of Representatives on Dec 3.
In that speech, he claimed, without presenting evidence, that millions of non-citizens voted in the election in several states.
"As such, it is my duty, under the U.S. Constitution, on Jan. 6, if the required one Senator will join me, to object to and later vote to reject electoral college submissions from states whose election systems are so badly flawed as to render their vote submissions unreliable, untrustworthy, and unworthy of acceptance," he said.
Even if he files the objection, Kousser says it's just a political stunt.
"It's entirely impossible that the Democratic-controlled House will object to (electoral votes), and it's very unlikely the Republican-held Senate will as well," Kousser said.
Kousser says moderate Republicans in the Senate, like Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney, and Susan Collins, have already said they won't vote to reject electoral results.
Kousser believes Brooks' objection and any support it receives is a way to pander to outgoing President Donald Trump, who still has control over a large following and can impact future Republican elections.
Kousser says it would also lay the groundwork for another four years of political divisiveness in Washington, D.C.
"It's really about partisan gain," he said. "I think you have one side that wants to use every tool in its toolbox to de-legitimize the winner of this election, no matter what the costs."
Democrats in the House filed similar objections in 2001, 2005, and 2017. None were voted upon.
Earlier this week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Republicans not to file objections. But Brooks has said he still plans to pursue the challenge.
This story was originally published by Jared Aarons on KGTV in San Diego.