Political

Trump-Biden transition live updates: Trump, Biden to hold dueling rallies on eve of Georgia runoffs

Bet_Noire/iStockBy LIBBY CATHEY, ABC News

(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump is slated to hand over control of the White House to President-elect Joe Biden in 16 days.

Here is how the transition is unfolding. All times Eastern:

Jan 04, 12:38 pm
Perdue, still quarantining, says he hopes to participate in Trump rally virtually

In an interview on Fox News Monday morning, Republican senatorial candidate David Perdue said that while he and his wife have “repeatedly” tested negative for coronavirus, he is still quarantining after coming into “close contact” last week with a campaign staffer who tested positive and hopes to participate in
 
“I’m going to participate hopefully tonight by virtually in this rally, but I’m so excited that President Trump is coming again,” Perdue said, going on to paint the dire picture of the country if Democrats win.
 
Asked what he wants to hear the president say Monday, Perdue said: “First of all this is the last opportunity we will have to protect everything that we’ve accomplished in the last four years. The second thing is the last line of defense to stop the Democrats from perpetrating this radical socialist agenda. It’s as simple as that.”
 
As he did Sunday, Perdue blasted disclosure of the call between Trump and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and defended the president.
 
“To have a state-wide elected official, regardless of party, tape unknowing — to tape without disclosing a conversation — private conversation of the president of the United States and then leaking it to the press is disgusting,” Perdue said.

When asked if he was concerned that GOP voters may be discouraged from participating in the aftermath of a general election Republicans continue to contest, Perdue said, “Well that’s what the Democrats want.” Trump himself acknowledged post-election chaos may hinder turnout in the runoffs during his call with Raffensperger Saturday — and blamed the secretary for it.

Jan 04, 12:36 pm
Cheney argues an Electoral college challenge sets an ‘exceptionally dangerous’ precedent

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., a member of House GOP leadership and one of the first prominent Republicans to acknowledge Biden’s victory, sent a 21-page memo to her conference making the case against a challenge to the Electoral College certification process on Wednesday, arguing that it would improperly overrule states’ authority over elections, and set a “dangerous precedent” down the line for future elections and sessions of Congress.

“By objecting to electoral slates, members are unavoidably asserting that Congress has the authority to overturn elections and overrule state and federal courts. Such objections set an exceptionally dangerous precedent, threatening to steal states’ explicit constitutional responsibility for choosing the President and bestowing it instead on Congress,” Cheney wrote.

“This is directly at odds with the Constitution’s clear text and our core beliefs as Republicans. Democrats have long attempted, unconstitutionally, to federalize every element of our nation — including elections. Republicans should not embrace Democrats’ unconstitutional position on these issues,” she added.

Cheney raises questions about the proposal from some Republicans to set up a commission to investigate concerns about the election, calling it a “problematic” set up that would take much longer than ten days to wrap up, and potentially delay the inauguration. The memo also exhaustively summarizes the court rulings against the president’s legal efforts in the six states Republicans plan to target on Wednesday: Arizona, Nevada, Wisconsin, Michigan, Georgia and Pennsylvania.

Jan 04, 12:34 pm
House Dems ask FBI to open criminal probe into Trump’s call with Raffensperger

Two House Democrats are asking FBI Director Christopher Wray to open a criminal probe into Trump after a phone call revealed him pleading with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to overturn his loss in the state’s presidential election.

“As Members of Congress and former prosecutors, we believe Donald Trump engaged in solicitation of, or conspiracy to commit, a number of election crimes,” Reps. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., and Kathleen Rice, D-N.Y., wrote in a letter to Wray on Monday. “We ask you to open an immediate criminal investigation into the president.”

“The evidence of election fraud by Mr. Trump is now in broad daylight. The prima facie elements of the above crimes have been met. Given the more than ample factual predicate, we are making a criminal referral to you to open an investigation into Mr. Trump,” the lawmakers continued.

Jan 04, 12:33 pm
Trump targets senators unsupportive of Electoral College challenge

Trump has targeted Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, who has been unwilling to join at least a dozen of his GOP Senate colleagues in saying they will challenge Electoral College results on Wednesday, with a tweet Monday morning warning Republicans “never forget.”
 
“@SenTomCotton Republicans have pluses & minuses, but one thing is sure, THEY NEVER FORGET!” the tweet read.

Trump followed up the attack by calling those lawmakers who do plan to certify the Electoral College vote on Wednesday members of the “Surrender Caucus,” tweeting that they will “go down in infamy as weak and ineffective ‘guardians’ of our Nation.”
 
It comes after Cotton said in a statement Sunday night that his colleagues’ plans to object to Biden’s win oversteps the body’s ceremonial role and warned that if the GOP prevailed, it “would essentially end presidential elections and place that power in the hands of whichever party controls Congress.”

“Objecting to certified electoral votes won’t give him a second term — it will only embolden those Democrats who want to erode further our system of constitutional government,” Cotton said in the statement.
 
Cotton’s not the first Republican senator Trump has targeted for opposing GOP plans to object on Wednesday. On New Year’s Day, he tweeted that he hoped Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., would be primaried in 2022, after Thune also said he did not support the long-shot bid to challenge Electoral College results.

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