Electoral college formally
designates Joe Biden US
15 December, 2020
California’s 55 Electoral College votes formally pushed Democrat Joe Biden across the finish line in the actual US presidential election, based on the results of the much-contested November 3 popular vote.
Mainstream media proclaimed Biden the winner over a month ago, after he pulled ahead of President Donald Trump in four battleground states the night after the election, thanks to large numbers of mail-in ballots. Monday’s vote in the Electoral College formalizes those results, as slates of electors designated by states to validate the popular vote results, met across the US.
Under the US Constitution, states designated electors to cast their share of the votes for president, which are then officially counted by Congress in early January and certified as legitimate. The new, or re-elected, president is then sworn in on January 20.
Trump and his campaign have challenged the results of the vote in several states, pointing to irregularities such as arbitrary changes to rules or capriciously enforced procedures, but were rebuffed by local and state officials who certified the vote totals anyway. The US Supreme Court last week refused to hear a lawsuit challenging the conduct of the election in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, claiming that the state had no “standing” to do so.
While the mainstream media characterized their complaints as “baseless” and social media flagged them as “disputed,” the Republicans appear to continue contesting the elections, as the party tried to have “alternate” electors turn in a Trump slate of EC votes in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Officially, the 2020 Electoral College result was the mirror image of Trump’s 2016 victory over Hillary Clinton, giving him 232 votes to 306 for Biden. Though the sitting Republican president received 11 million more votes than in 2016, Biden – who did not campaign much and refused to answer questions about his policies, agenda or scandals – reportedly got more than 80 million himself, the largest number for any candidate in US history.
US President Donald Trump has tapped a replacement for Attorney General Bill Barr, announcing the former AG’s resignation as the Electoral College has moved to formally certify Democrat Joe Biden as the president-elect.
“Just had a very nice meeting with Attorney General Bill Barr at the White House. Our relationship has been a very good one, he has done an outstanding job!” Trump said in a series of tweets on Monday, sharing a copy of Barr’s resignation letter while adding: “Bill will be leaving just before Christmas to spend the holidays with his family.”
Deputy Attorney General Jeff Rosen, an outstanding person, will become Acting Attorney General. Highly respected Richard Donoghue will be taking over the duties of Deputy Attorney General.
In his parting letter, Barr hailed the Trump administration for “unprecedented achievements” in the face of “relentless, implacable resistance,” blasting the president’s critics for a “partisan onslaught” and “frenzied and baseless accusations of collusion with Russia.”
“Few could have weathered these attacks, much less forge ahead with a positive program for the country,” Barr wrote, pointing to “peace deals in the Mideast,” curbing illegal immigration and the federal vaccine initiative, Operation Warp Speed.
Barr’s departure comes as President Trump has voiced increasing frustration with the AG, suggesting he has not done enough to investigate claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential race, nor allegations of corruption in the foreign business dealings of Joe Biden’s son, Hunter.
Though Barr was previously seen as one of the president’s closest allies, on Saturday Trump said he had been a “big disappointment” over his handling of the Hunter Biden case, adding elsewhere that the AG “perhaps knew of the corruption” as far back as last year.
While Trump has repeatedly alleged endemic fraud in the November election, with his campaign and Republican allies launching dozens of lawsuits across key swing states aiming to contest the results, Barr has declined to endorse those claims, telling the Associated Press earlier this month that “to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”
The Electoral College was not set to certify a winner in the race for well over a month after election day, compelled by law to leave time after the contest to hash out possible disputes over the result. But despite continued charges of fraud from President Trump, the body voted to officially designate Biden as president-elect on Monday, paving the path to his inauguration on January 20.