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Josh Hawley Dodges Question During Fox News Grilling on Election Challenge

Speaking on Monday night, Hawley at first avoided questions about whether he was trying to overturn an election and thereby disenfranchise millions of Americans, insisting he was objecting to the handling of the presidential election in states including Pennsylvania.

“I just want to pin you down,” the anchor Bret Baier said, eventually, “on on what you’re trying to do. Are you trying to say that as of 20 January [inauguration day] that President Trump will be president?”

“Well,” said Hawley, “that depends on what happens on Wednesday. I mean, this is why we have to debate.”

Baier answered: “No it doesn’t. The states, by the constitution, they certify the election, they did certify it by the constitution. Congress doesn’t have the right to overturn the certification, at least as most experts read it.”

“Well,” Hawley said, “Congress is directed under the 12th amendment to count the electoral votes, there’s a statute that dates back to the 1800s, 19th century, that says there is a right to object, there’s a right to be heard, and there’s also [the] certification right.”

Baier countered: “It’s from 1876, senator, and it’s the Tilden-Hayes race, in which there were three states that did not certify their electors. So Congress was left to come up with this system, this commission that eventually got to negotiate a grand bargain.”

That bargain left a Republican president, Rutherford Hayes, in power in return for an end to Reconstruction after the civil war. In August, the historian Eric Foner told the Guardian: “Part of the deal was the surrender of the rights of African Americans. I’m not sure that’s a precedent we want to reinvigorate, you know?”

Read entire article at The Guardian