Presidential historian Doug Wead weighs in on ‘America’s News HQ.’
At least half of the eight GOP senators who voted against President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory will be attending the inauguration Wednesday in Washington to support the peaceful transfer of power, Fox News has learned.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who spearheaded the Jan. 6 effort to toss out electoral votes for Biden, will attend the official swearing-in at the Capitol. Sens. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., and Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., who joined with Cruz in objecting to Biden's victory before a Joint Session of Congress, also will attend Biden's inauguration, their offices confirmed.
In this July 14 photo, Republican U.S. Senate candidate and former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville speaks at a campaign event in Montgomery, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill, File)
And Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., who voted to reject Biden's electors in the state of Pennsylvania, also will show up Wednesday. Scott last week even urged President Trump to attend, too, but Trump declined.
"I plan to attend and believe it is an important tradition that demonstrates the peaceful transfer of power to our people and to the world," Scott said last week.
Along with Cruz, Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., led the effort to object to Biden's Electoral College votes even after a deadly riot at the Capitol interrupted the counting of the votes. Both Cruz and Hawley have caught plenty of heat for ginning up the base about the long-shot challenges that fed into the Capitol riot.
It was unclear if Hawley would attend the inauguration since his office did not respond to requests for comment.
The three other senators who voted against Biden's victory in at least one state were Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., and Sen. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo. Their offices didn't respond to questions from Fox News on whether they will attend the swearing-in on Wednesday for Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
The senators who objected said they were representing the concerns of their constituents who had deep doubts that other states' election processes weren't fair and secure. Trump fueled the distrust of the election results by refusing to concede, claiming he won the election in a landslide and spreading allegations of extensive election fraud.
Other senators who initially raised concerns about the election's validity with Cruz and demanded an emergency 10-day audit of the results also will be attending the inauguration, including Sens. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., Steve Daines, R-Mont., and James Lankford, R-Okla. The trio initially said they intended to object to the Electoral College certification, but ultimately joined with the majority of their GOP colleagues in approving the results after the riot.
Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., will attend Wednesday‘s inauguration ceremony, as he did in 2013 and 2017. (Reuters/Joshua Roberts)
All state election officials stood by the integrity of their certified results and dozens of courts tossed out Trump's lawsuits to challenge the election. Federal officials, including outgoing Attorney General William Barr, rejected Trump's claims of widespread fraud.
Wednesday's inauguration will be like no other in history. The ceremonies are scaled back because of the raging coronavirus pandemic. The military presence in Washington is enormous after pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 in an attempt to stop the certification of Biden's win.
Trump, who was impeached by the House on Wednesday for his role in inciting the riot, has refused to acknowledge defeat and will leave for his Mar-a-lago resort in Florida on the morning of Jan. 20 to avoid the inauguration all together. He has not spoken to Biden to concede. Vice President Mike Pence, however, will attend.
Members of the National Guard patrol outside the Capitol Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 14. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Members of Congress have boycotted inaugurations in the past for political reasons. Notably, about 70 Democrats refused to attend Trump's inauguration four years ago after he tweeted derogatory comments about the late civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., who announced he wouldn't attend. Dozens of Democrats said they'd boycott Trump's swearing-in to stand with Lewis, who did not consider Trump a "legitimate president."
On the House side, GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif, said he'll attend Biden's inauguration. McCarthy was one of 138 House Republicans who voted to toss out Biden's win in Pennsylvania even after the riot. North Carolina freshman Rep. Madison Cawthron, who objected to Pennsylvania's vote too, also plans to attend Wednesday, his office said.
"There are extreme security concerns," Greene said. "20,000 National Guardsmen were brought in for a virtual inauguration."
It's unclear if some of Trump's staunchest allies in the House will attend. Spokespeople for Reps. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., Mike Kelly, R-Pa., and Devin Nunes, R-Calif., did not respond to Fox News' requests for comment.
Given the heightened security, threats to members of Congress and new coronavirus precautions, some lawmakers who otherwise would have attended are going to stay home.
Rep. Beth Van Duyne, R-Texas, won't be attending Biden's inauguration on Wednesday. (Fox News screenshot)
Freshman Rep. Beth Van Duyne, R-Texas, will not attend because she already had to cancel district events this week because of the impromptu impeachment vote that Democrats called. Van Duyne voted against Biden's Electoral College win in Pennsylvania.
"On Thursday, the Inaugural Committee added new COVID testing requirements that would require the Congresswoman to be in DC two days earlier than expected for inauguration," said Van Duyne spokeswoman Amanda Thompson. "Because the majority called last minute impeachment hearings this week, we were forced to reschedule numerous commitments in the district to next week. Therefore, the Congresswoman regrets being unable to attend inauguration due to commitments in the district."
Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., who refused to join fellow Republicans on the Electoral College objections, also will be staying home because of ongoing security threats.
"She is not attending for security purposes," spokeswoman Natalie Johnson said. "She’s received several threats so we’re keeping her in Charleston for safety."
Each member of the House and Senate will receive a ticket and a guest ticket to the inauguration.
Even some Democrats are expressing reservations about attending given the threats to members of Congress and concerns about any last attempt by Trump backers to disrupt the launch of ceremony.
U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., listens to a constituent in Wixom, Mich., Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., decided against bringing her 15-year-old son to the inauguration over security concerns and will instead host a virtual celebration.
"I just get teary-eyed thinking about Kamala Harris becoming vice president and being there at this historic moment," Tlaib told the Detroit News.
"But I don’t feel comfortable. I hope the incoming President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris are protected, and that it goes well. I know we will all be safely at home and able to experience it. But not in person."