'Horrific... Nuts': Republican Tears Into Josh Hawley for Opposing Biden Win Certification

Republican Representative Denver Riggleman of Virginia called Missouri GOP Senator Josh Hawley's decision to challenge the results of the Electoral College vote "horrific" during a Monday appearance on MSNBC.

President-elect Joe Biden won both the popular and electoral votes in the November election. But President Donald Trump has baselessly alleged that widespread election fraud caused Biden's win, and has encouraged Republicans in Congress to challenge the official count of the electoral votes, which would confirm Biden's win. Hawley is the first Senator to announce that he would challenge the vote. Riggleman said Wednesday that Republicans who chose to join Hawley's efforts could be doing it for political reasons.

"Politically for them it might be great for their base, for their fundraising, for things like that but, nationally, it's horrific," Riggleman told MSNBC. "I find it amazing that right now we have Republicans that are actually objecting to Federalism and wanting sort of this overthrow or this sort of 'let's throw out the electoral voters, let's ignore the states, we've already litigated this and let's move forward.' And the only thing I can say is it's nuts."

Riggleman implied that Hawley decided to go along with the electoral vote challenge because he "must have talked to some individuals who thought that his fundraising could go much higher if he were to do something like this."

Newsweek reached out to Hawley's office for comment.

josh hawley will object to electoral votes
Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley became the first GOP senator to announce that he would challenge President-elect Joe Biden's win in the Electoral College in January. Greg Nash-Pool/Getty

In a statement released on Wednesday, Hawley said he could not "vote to certify the electoral college on January 6 without raising the fact that some states, particularly Pennsylvania, failed to follow their own state election laws." Hawley also said that corporations including Facebook and Twitter interfered in the November election to favor Biden.

"At the very least, Congress should investigate allegations of voter fraud and adopt measures to secure the integrity of our elections," Hawley added. "But Congress has so far failed to act."

Democrats have strongly denounced Hawley's decision. In a Wednesday appearance on CNN, Maryland Democrat Senator Chris Van Hollen described Hawley's choice as "grossly irresponsible."

Van Hollen said Hawley was "going and undermining even more public confidence in our democratic process, siding with the false Trump narrative that somehow the election was, you know, fraudulently won by Joe Biden and what he's done now is throw this up for a vote in the House and the Senate."

Republicans challenging the electoral vote are unlikely to overturn the election in Trump's favor. If a challenge is submitted, lawmakers can take up to two hours to debate the objection while the vote count is delayed. After reconvening, Congress would vote on whether to allow the contested results to be counted. Both the House and the Senate must agree on the final decision.

Objecting to the congressional electoral vote count could be one of Trump's final avenues to retaining the presidency. However, members of Trump's legal team have pledged to continue filing lawsuits on his behalf until Inauguration Day.

In a statement issued in December, Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and legal adviser Jenna Ellis said they would "continue to champion election integrity until legal vote is counted fairly and accurately."