He added: “The president and his allies are playing with fire. They have been asking — first the courts, then state legislatures, now the Congress — to overturn the results of a presidential election. They have unsuccessfully called on judges and are now calling on federal officeholders to invalidate millions and millions of votes. If you make big claims, you had better have the evidence. But the president doesn’t and neither do the institutional arsonist members of Congress who will object to the Electoral College vote.”
“When we talk in private, I haven’t heard a single Congressional Republican allege that the election results were fraudulent — not one,” Sasse wrote. “Instead, I hear them talk about their worries about how they will ‘look’ to President Trump’s most ardent supporters.”
Hawley is the first senator to announce plans to object to the results, which is significant because both a House member and senator are required to mount an objection when Congress counts the Electoral College votes on January 6.
The objection will not change the outcome of the election, and will only delay the inevitable affirmation of Biden’s victory in November over Trump. Democrats will reject any objections in the House, and multiple Republican senators have argued against an objection that will provide a platform for Trump’s baseless conspiracy theories claiming the election was stolen from him.
In his Facebook post, Sasse attacked Trump’s conspiracies — drawing on failed lawsuits by the Trump campaign in Pennsylvania, Arizona, Wisconsin and Georgia — and wrote that the President’s attempted lawsuits were a “fundraising strategy.”
“That’s not serious governing. It’s swampy politics — and it shows very little respect for the sincere people in my state who are writing these checks,” Sasse wrote.
Sasse ended his lengthy explanation with a discussion on the responsibility he feels to protecting America’s institutions at this moment in time.
“Let’s be clear what is happening here: We have a bunch of ambitious politicians who think there’s a quick way to tap into the president’s populist base without doing any real, long-term damage. But they’re wrong — and this issue is bigger than anyone’s personal ambitions,” Sasse wrote.
The lawsuit — filed byTexas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a staunch Trump ally — sought to sue Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia and Wisconsin, which all went for Biden, and invalidate their election results.
Trump is now eying next week’s certification of the results by Congress as his next opportunity to overturn the result, but the process — even if it is drawn out by members of Congress objecting to states’ results — will inevitably end with Biden entering the White House on January 20.
This story has been updated with additional background information.
CNN’s Jeremy Herb, Phil Mattingly, Lauren Fox and Joan Biskupic contributed to this report.