Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) said he "will not be participating" in an effort in Congress to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory on Jan. 6, writing on Facebook that he has been urging "colleagues also to reject this dangerous ploy."

Driving the news: Sasse's post comes a day after Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) became the first senator to say he will object to the Electoral College certification, joining a group of House Republicans.

  • Sasse appeared to take a veiled jab at Hawley, who is widely considered a potential 2024 Republican presidential candidate, writing: "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. Adults don’t point a loaded gun at the heart of legitimate self-government," he added.

The big picture: Sasse wrote that there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud that could have changed the result of the election, and the "president and his allies are playing with fire" by contesting the election in "courts, then state legislatures, now the Congress."

  • “All the clever arguments and rhetorical gymnastics in the world won’t change the fact that this January 6th effort is designed to disenfranchise millions of Americans simply because they voted for someone in a different party," Sasse wrote.
"[Trump and his allies] 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."
Sen. Ben Sasse on Facebook

Between the lines: Biden will undoubtedly still be certified the winner of the election, since the Trump-backed effort would have to win support from skeptical Republicans and the Democratic-led House of Representatives.

  • But the move will force Senate Republicans to go on the record on whether they agree with Trump's baseless allegations — many of which have been thrown out in court — that there was widespread election fraud.
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and other members of GOP leadership in the Senate have urged fellow Republicans not to participate in the effort.

Go deeper

Scoop: Comms director for gun-toting congresswoman quits

Rep. Lauren Boebert during the Electoral College debate. Photo: Congress.gov via Getty Images

The communications director for Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, a firebrand Republican freshman who boasts about carrying a gun to work, has quit after less than two weeks on the job.

Why it matters: Ben Goldey’s resignation cited last week's insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, which came amid efforts by Boebert and other Republican lawmakers to block certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory. Her rhetoric on the issue mirrored President Trump's, which has fueled baseless election conspiracy theories and resulting violence.

Off the Rails

Episode 1: A premeditated lie lit the fire

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 1: Trump’s refusal to believe the election results was premeditated. He had heard about the “red mirage” — the likelihood that early vote counts would tip more Republican than the final tallies — and he decided to exploit it.

"Jared, you call the Murdochs! Jason, you call Sammon and Hemmer!”

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden readies massive shifts in policy for his first days in office.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.
  6. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.