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Sen.-elect Tommy Tuberville defies Mitch McConnell, opens door to Electoral College challenge in Senate

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'We're gonna have to do it in the Senate'

Stefani Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images

Sen.-elect Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) indicated this week that he may challenge the Electoral College votes from several key battleground states in the U.S. Senate in defiance of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

Some congressional Republicans led by Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) are discussing a plan to challenge the results of the election when Congress convenes on Jan. 6 to certify Joe Biden as president. In a video posted by Lauren Windsor, the executive producer of "Undercurrent," Tuberville appeared to lend his support to the effort.

"Well, you see what's coming. You've been reading about it in the House. We're gonna have to, we're gonna have to do it in the Senate," Tuberville said.

The congressional procedure for accepting a state's Electoral College results can be slowed considerably if one member of the House and one member of the Senate each object to recording the electoral votes of a state.

Should objections be raised, each house of Congress will be forced to debate for two hours and then hold a floor vote on whether to accept the results. In the event that the Democratic-controlled House votes one way and the Republican-controlled Senate votes another way, the tie is broken by the governor's certification in the disputed state.

Rep. Brooks has been leading the charge to challenge the results of the Electoral College in Congress.

"I find it unfathomable that anyone would acquiesce to election theft and voter fraud because they lack the courage to take a difficult vote on the House or Senate floor," Brooks told Politico in an interview. "Last time I checked, that's why we were elected to Congress."

So far it's been unclear that any GOP senators would join Brooks and his House colleagues. Sen. McConnell, the top Republican in the Senate, on Tuesday warned Republican senators on a private conference call that challenging the Electoral College would result in a "terrible vote" because they would have to vote the challenge down and appear to side against President Donald Trump.

Until Tuberville's comments, no GOP senators gave hints they would support an effort to challenge the election. Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) perhaps came the closest. She faces a tough runoff election in Georgia on Jan. 5 and on Wednesday told reporters she hadn't decided whether she would challenge the election if she wins.

"I haven't looked at it," she said. "Jan. 6 is a long way out and there's a lot to play out between now and then."

Trump wants Republicans to fight. On Wednesday the president told McConnell via tweet that it is "too soon to give up," despite the election results being certified by every state and the Electoral College officially selecting Biden to be the next president of the United States.

The odds that Republicans could successfully reject the results of the election in Congress are almost nonexistent. Even if Tuberville or Loeffler were to object, there are not enough votes in the Senate to toss the election results from not one, but several states Trump would need to overcome Biden's 306-232 lead in the Electoral College. The Trump campaign's various legal challenges, most of which have been dropped or dismissed, and the remaining pending cases, even if successful, would not be enough to overturn the election.

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