Congress begins ratification of the Electoral College votes |

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this is an abc news special report now reporting chief anchor george stephanopoulos good afternoon we’re coming on the air right now because a joint session of congress is about to be gaveled in to count the electoral votes and certify the electoral college victory of joe biden there’s the scene right now they’re in the capitol the house chamber senators are walking over right now normally this is a purely ceremonial then not this year several republican members of congress and senators egged on by president trump and his false claims of electoral fraud in this election are going to object to the slates of electors from several states we don’t know exactly how many and try to force votes on those slates of electors mike pence as president of the senate will be in the chair right there next to house speaker nancy pelosi under the constitution his job is to simply open up the bat open up the envelopes and count the votes that will be put to the test today because president trump again baselessly you’re trying trying to argue that vice president mike pence has the power to somehow block these electoral votes we want to get some things clear at the outset right now nothing that happens here today is going to change the outcome of this election joe biden won the election he won the popular vote he won the electoral college 306 electoral votes those results have been certified in every single state after counts and recounts president trump and his allies have filed more than 60 lawsuits in federal and state courts all but one of them have been dismissed as we see the senators come in and even the president’s own attorney general has said there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud mary bruce covers capitol hill for us every single day and mary even the senators and house members objecting today aren’t offering evidence of widespread fraud no they’re not and of course neither is president trump’s team you know throughout the last two months this entire fight they have failed repeatedly to put forth any credible evidence to back up these claims of widespread voter fraud it’s why you have seen in state after state the president’s legal challenges failing in fact we saw earlier this week the top election official in georgia a republican systematically go through all of the president’s claims and knock them down one by one so it’s not really clear what these republicans are after today some of them are going to call for a commission to further investigate these allegations but what is clear is that

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what you are about to see will not change the outcome of this election joe biden is going to be the next president but it is going to be a performance intended for the president by those loyal to him you are going to see more than a dozen republican senators more than 100 house republicans all object to these results to try and please the president and show their loyalty to him political performance art that is true and cecilia vega senior white house correspondent the president as this joint session is being convened out on the ellipse in washington d.c trying to rally a crowd of supporters with more of these false claims it is a remarkable split screen that is happening george and i came from the white house earlier this morning and i will tell you so many of those supporters that i passed are not out there wearing masks so the covet umbrella is hanging over this remarkable screen as well but the president has been speaking for over an hour now and we have heard from him repeat baseless conspiracy theories that we’ve heard from the very beginning of him these falsehoods about a rigged election a line after a line about accusations that have been repeatedly tossed out in courts around this country over the last few weeks he is threatening to quote primary the hell out of republicans who do not join on this bandwagon today there in the uh on capitol hill and he has asked those supporters who were gathered outside the white house to follow him to go down to the hill there george this is being called into session right now house speaker nancy pelosi let us remind that each side house and senate democrats and republicans each have 11 members allowed to be present on the floor others may be in the gallery this is at the guidance of the officiating attending physician and the sergeants at arm the gentlemen on the republican side of the eye will please observe the social distancing and agree to what we have 11 members on each side so that we can her responsibilities to this chamber to this speaker is talking about the covet guidelines vice president mike pence will open up these envelopes the president has been pressing him to act he’s put out a statement just moments ago making it clear he will not you can share with your staff if you want to have a few more but you cannot mike pence uh saying that he’s looked carefully at this argument frankly a rather absurd argument that the vice president in his role as the presiding officer would have the would have the unilateral power to overturn the election results

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pence says he’s looked at this and that he just does not believe that hasn’t keeping with the constitution he says that the presidency under our system of government belongs to the people a very strong letter complete defiance of the president of the united states the vice president will as president of the senate gavel madam speaker members of the process pursuant to the constitution and the laws of the united states the senate and house of representatives are meeting in joint session to verify the certificates and count the votes of the electors of the several states for president and vice president of the united states after ascertainment has been had that the certificates are authentic and correct in form the tellers will count and make a list of the votes cast by the electors of the several states the tellers on the part of the two houses have taken their places at the clerk’s desk without objection the tellers will dispense with the reading of the formal portions of the certificates after ascertaining that the certificates are regular in-form and authentic the tellers will announce the votes cast by the electors for each state beginning with alabama which the parliamentarians advise me is the only certificate of vote from that state and purports to be a return from the state and that has annexed to it a certificate from an authority of that state purporting to appoint or ascertain electors mr blunt for what purpose for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia ross parliamentary inquiry mr vice president in order to follow with the speaker’s instructions that only a limited number of people be on the floor may i ask how one would make an objection or make a parliamentary inquiry in the future if you’re not on the floor but in the gallery again they’re going to be talking about these coveted regulations owner ringing and dan abrams our chief legal analyst and we saw the vice president carrying out his constitutional duties right there explain what the constitution says about congress’s role in the vice president’s role right so there are two things happening here right they’re going to be the objections from senators and house of representatives members and then there’s the question about the vice president with regard to the senators and the hundred-plus republican members of congress they have every right uh to object um you could say they have no reason to that you could say that there’s no valid claim here but we’ve seen it in the past where there’s been a objection and that’s really just theater they know it’s not going to have any impact right but let me just say on that one earlier on that point there have been objections in the past but in all those cases the candidate on whose behalf they were objecting had already conceded and was not pushing this that’s true but in terms of the proceeding we’re seeing right strictly in terms of the proceeding to say that they shouldn’t be allowed to object they’re allowed to do this that’s a very separate question from the impact and with regard to the vice president the vice president certainly we now know has no power to overturn the election hi everyone george stephanopoulos here thanks for checking out the abc news youtube channel if you’d like to get more videos show highlights and watch live event coverage click on the right over here to subscribe to our channel and don’t forget to download the abc news app for breaking news alerts thanks for watching

credit by: morgancenterlibrary and ABC News on youtube



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