Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) on Saturday, Jan. 2, fired back after Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) raised concerns about his plans, along with at least 11 other GOP senators, to object to the Electoral College vote during a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6. 

Earlier in the day, Toomey announced that he will not join the Electoral College challenge and claimed that the effort led by Hawley, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and others aims to “disenfranchise millions of voters.”

“The senators justify their intent by observing that there have been many allegations of fraud. But allegations of fraud by losing a campaign cannot justify overturning an election,” Tommey wrote in a series of tweets.

“They fail to acknowledge that these allegations have been adjudicated in courtrooms across America and were found to be unsupported by evidence,” he continued.

Toomey admitted that there were voting irregularities during the 2020 election like in others, “But the evidence is overwhelming that [Democratic candidate]Joe Biden won this election,” he said. 

“His narrow victory in Pennsylvania is easily explained by the decline in suburban support for President Trump and the president’s slightly smaller victory margins in most rural counties,” Tommey added.

What will happen on Jan. 6

On Thursday, Hawley became the first senator to publicly announce that he will contest Biden’s electoral win in disputed states where allegations of widespread voter fraud have emerged.

At least 11 other senators including Cruz joined Hawley on Saturday, noting that the 2020 election “featured unprecedented allegation of voter fraud, violations, and lax enforcement of election law, and other voting irregularities.”

In an email sent to the Senate GOP Conference on Saturday, Hawley responded to Tommey by pointing to the Pennsylvania case where the state Legislature “enacted a new law purporting to permit voting by mail for any reason, directly contradicting the state constitution.”

“This November, state officials put the new law into effect. More than 2.5 million Pennsylvanians voted by mail on November 6 (or later), in numbers far exceeding the margin of difference between Donald Trump and Joe Biden,” he wrote. “When Pennsylvania Congressman Mike Kelly and others challenged the law, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court threw out the case without hearing the merits—violating its own precedent in doing so.”

“To date, no one has mounted a substantive defense of the state law under which the November election was conducted. And contrary to Senator Tommey’s claims, no court has ruled on the merits of this question. These are very serious irregularities, on a very large scale, in a presidential election,” Hawley noted.

Hawley then went on to challenge Tommey to debate on the issue of election fraud on the Senate floor on Jan. 6.

“But instead of debating the issue of election integrity by press release, conference call or email, perhaps we could have a debate on the Senate floor for all of the American people to judge. That is what we were elected to do and it is, I suggest, what we owe to our constituents,” he concluded. “And I hope that we can have a vigorous debate full of substance and free of shameless personal attacks.”