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Photo: Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) said in a statement Wednesday that he will object to the certification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory during the joint session of Congress on Jan. 6, alleging that some states failed to follow their election laws and that Big Tech interfered on behalf of Biden.

Why it matters: Hawley is the first senator to say he will object to the certification, joining a group of House Republicans. Biden will still be certified the winner, 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.

What he's saying:

Following both the 2004 and 2016 elections, Democrats in Congress objected during the certification of electoral votes in order to raise concerns about election integrity. They were praised by Democratic leadership and the media when they did. And they were entitled to do so. But now those of us concerned about the integrity of this election are entitled to do the same.
I cannot vote to certify the electoral college results on January 6 without raising the fact that some states, particularly Pennsylvania, failed to follow their own state election laws. And I cannot vote to certify without pointing out the unprecedented effort of mega corporations, including Facebook and Twitter, to interfere in this election, in support of Joe Biden. At the very least, Congress should investigate allegations of voter fraud and adopt measures to secure the integrity of our elections. But Congress has so far failed to act.
For these reasons, I will follow the same practice Democrat members of Congress have in years past and object during the certification process on January 6 to raise these critical issues.
— Sen. Josh Hawley

Go deeper

Off the Rails

Episode 7: Trump turns on Pence

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Elijah Nouvelage, Alex Wong/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. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 7: Trump turns on Pence. Trump believes the vice president can solve all his problems by simply refusing to certify the Electoral College results. It's a simple test of loyalty: Trump or the U.S. Constitution.

"The end is coming, Donald."

The male voice in the TV ad boomed through the White House residence during "Fox & Friends" commercial breaks. Over and over and over. "The end is coming, Donald. ... On Jan. 6, Mike Pence will put the nail in your political coffin."

Venture capital and private equity trade groups halt political donations

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Trade groups representing private equity and venture capital firms have joined the trend of pausing political donations, in the wake of Jan. 6.

Driving the news: The American Investment Council has suspended political contributions from its PAC to all political candidates for an undetermined length of time.

McConnell: Trump "provoked" Capitol mob

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday that the pro-Trump mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 was "provoked by the president and other powerful people."

Why it matters: Trump was impeached by the House last week for "incitement of insurrection." McConnell has not said how he will vote in Trump's coming Senate impeachment trial, but sources told Axios' Mike Allen that the chances of him voting to convict are higher than 50%.

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