US Electoral College confirmed on November 14 President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over president Donald Trump . Biden has 306 confirmed electoral votes while outgoing president Trump has 232 confirmed electoral votes. Congress will count and certify the Electoral College votes for president and vice president today in a joint session.

What you need to know

  • Congress will count and certify the Electoral College votes for president and vice president today in a joint session.
  • Republicans in both chambers plan to object to the count and delay the inevitable certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s win — a victory that was affirmed by the Electoral College last month.
  • Today’s Electoral College vote is traditionally a ceremonial exercise that has taken on outsize importance this year as President Trump continues his efforts to overturn the election results.

Biden will nominate Merrick Garland as attorney general     

From CNN’s Jeff Zeleny

President-elect Joe Biden has decided to nominate Judge Merrick Garland as attorney general, people familiar with the matter tell CNN. It’s a long-awaited decision that was moved toward completion Wednesday.

The announcement of the attorney general, along with other senior leaders of the Justice Department, is expected to be made as soon as Thursday as Biden moves closer to filling the remaining seats in his Cabinet before assuming power on Jan. 20.

While Garland has been a top contender for weeks, concerns about the vacancy his selection would create on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia raised alarm bells among Biden and many advisers who believed Senate Republicans would block any nomination to that seat. But with Democrats set to control the Senate after winning two Georgia races, those concerns were allayed.

“Judge Garland will be viewed in a whole new light now,” a top Biden ally tells CNN.

Here’s what to expect when it comes to objections to the Electoral College vote

From CNN’s Phil Mattingly

While Republicans in both chambers plan a series of objections that will lead to debate and a vote, sources tell CNN it’s also likely Republicans will attempt to raise objections that line up with some of the fringe theories pushed by President Trump – something that could result in a few fleeting moments of chaos.

Those objections, in whatever form they are made, will be summarily dismissed by Vice President Pence as out of order. The format in which they’ll be presented is still fluid, but it won’t matter. There’s a way to object, as laid out in clear detail by statute, during this process and any effort outside of those guardrails will not be considered.

Among the possible issues that could be raised:

  • That there are competing slates of electors that Congress must consider. There have been zero competing slates submitted to Congress, making the issue null and void.
  • Another possibility is the idea that Pence can operate unilaterally to reject slates of electors. But the precedent some fringe lawyers have pushed – based on actions from Thomas Jefferson and Richard Nixon – do not match up with any kind of unilateral authority for Pence. That would also be rejected.
  • There also remains the possibility that members move for adjournment on the grounds it would allow for a 10 day period for an election integrity commission to do an audit. This, too, is simply not possible based on the statute.

All of these possibilities remain fluid, sources say, but it’s something to watch from House Republicans. And again, they will all fail before they can’t even be considered.

Trump’s behavior toward Pence is “horrific,” senior advisor says

From CNN’s Jim Acosta

A longtime senior Trump adviser says the President’s behavior has become “horrific” as he continues to pressure Vice President Mike Pence and Republican lawmakers to overturn the election results – something they cannot do. 

The adviser said multiple aides and associates have explained to Trump on numerous occasions that Pence cannot toss out the results from Nov. 3. 

“He knows what the legal procedures are now,” the adviser said.

But this source, who has been involved in the election challenge discussions, said Trump is brushing off any counsel to move on and accept defeat and is instead taking his cues from a motley crew of suspect legal advisers, including television personalities at the conservative news outlet, OANN.

This adviser said aides to the president have been mortified by his behavior toward Pence, describing it as “horrific.”


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