FLASHBACK: Dems Challenge Trump’s 2016 Victory in Congress — And It’s Not The First Time


Critics of President Donald Trump have condemned Republican lawmakers for planning to challenge certification of electoral votes in Congress on Wednesday.

  • One Washington Post commentator called the at least 140 House members and 13 Senators who have so far signed on to the efforts “co-conspirators” in an unprecedented assault on democracy, and another accused them of participating in a “coup” attempt. 

But, while Trump’s leading role in trying to overturn his election defeat to Democrat Joe Biden is unique in U.S. history, the Congress members’ planned objections are not.

  • In fact, Democratic lawmakers tried to block the counting of Electoral College votes each of the past three times a Republican won the White House: Trump in 2016 and George W. Bush in 2004 and 2000.

Conservatives pundits have in recent days resurfaced footage of the joint sessions of Congress lest liberals’ memories fail them.

Trump 2016: Most recently, seven House members, all of whom are still in Congress, tried to object to the certification of Trump’s victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton in their respective states, citing alleged voter suppression and Russian meddling.

  • Because no senator signed on as required, then-Vice President Biden dismissed each of the motions with a pound of his gavel, ultimately announcing, “It is over.”
  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi said ahead of the January 2017 session that she supported the rationale of the protesting lawmakers even if their effort was doomed.
  • “Quite frankly, there’s nothing they could say in there that would be an overstatement of the reasons why we should have a floor discussion,” she told reporters.

Bush 2004: After Bush’s reelection, then-Sen. Barbara Boxer of California joined then Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones of Ohio in objecting to the Buckeye state’s electoral votes, citing voting irregularities.

  • “While we have men and women dying to bring democracy abroad, we’ve got to make it the best it can be here at home, and that’s why I’m doing this,” Boxer said during the two-hour floor debate.
  • It was the first and only previous time objections to a state’s Electoral College votes have been successfully registered since 1969, but was voted down by both chambers.

Bush 2000: Four years earlier, 20 House Democrats, most of them members of the Congressional Black Caucus, objected to Florida’s disputed electoral votes for Bush over Democrat Al Gore.

  • With Senate backing unforthcoming, Rep. Alcee Hastings of Florida, at one point called out to Gore, who was presiding over the hearing as vice president, “We did all we could.”
  • Gore replied with a smile, “The chair thanks the gentleman from Florida.”

Then and now: Boxer, who retired in 2017, last week told CNN that “there’s no comparison” between her objection in 2005 and those promised by Republicans today.

  • “We have a president here who’s orchestrating kind of an overthrow of the election,” she explained, adding that her objection had been purely symbolic.

In a Sunday letter to fellow Democrats, Pelosi sought to characterize the party as a defender of American democracy.

  • “While there is no doubt as to the outcome of the Biden-Harris presidency, our further success is to convince more of the American people to trust in our democratic system,” Pelosi wrote just ahead of her reelection as speaker.

Meanwhile, a number of House and Senate Republicans have spoken out against their colleague’s plans to object to 2020 electoral votes — dismissing the Trump allies’ calls for further scrutiny of unproven claims of systemic voter fraud by the president.

  • According to reports, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has refused to take a side within his caucus, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has urged senators not to participate in the efforts, which will anyway be shot down by the Democratic-controlled House.
By We'll Do It Live