Republican congressman explains planned challenge to Electoral College results

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A 133-year-old law intended to fix the problems raised by a previous contested presidential election could be employed to hand the 2020 presidential vote to Donald Trump, Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., claimed on “The Story” Friday.

Brooks told substitute host Trace Gallagher that the Electoral Count Act of 1887 could be invoked to challenge an individual state’s slate of electors, and with sufficient support in both chambers, have those electors dismissed.

The law was enacted in the aftermath of the disputed 1876 election, in which issues determining a winner in Florida, South Carolina and Louisiana — as well as a separate problem in Oregon — threw a wrench in the nationwide count.

Eventually, Ohio Republican Rutherford B. Hayes was seated as president rather than New York Democrat Samuel J. Tilden, but not before a compromise was forged in which Republicans agree to formally end Reconstruction by pulling federal troops out of the Southern states.


If Brooks and any supporters in Congress are able to dismiss the slate of electors from enough contested states, President-elect Joe Biden would fall below the 270 electors needed to win the presidency. In that case, each state legislature is tasked under Article II of the U.S. Constitution with “in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct” seating “a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress.”

Republicans hold a majority of state legislatures, and therefore could theoretically hand Donald Trump a second term. Fox News host Mark Levin first pointed to the provision in a tweet that Twitter later marked “disputed.”

“No question it’s an uphill climb, because I’m not sure how many Republicans we have that are willing to do what’s necessary to protect the sanctity of our election system,” Brooks said Friday. “That’s what’s at stake here.”

Brooks slammed Democrats as corrupt, claiming the party and its apparatus “have successfully been able to pull off one of the greatest election thefts in history.”


“I’ve looked at the circumstances and I firmly believe this election has been stolen by the socialist Democrats,” he sad. “I believe we ought to fight and one congressman from Alabama is going to fight.

“We cannot allow this kind of massive election thefts that we’ve seen across the board. I’m going to fight. Will the others join me? I sure hope so.”