PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – It is shaping up to be a tumultuous day in our nation’s capital.
Already, pro-Trump supporters have clashed with police and they will be rallying outside the White House as Congress meets down the street to formalize the election of President-Elect Joe Biden.
A dozen senators and almost 30 members of the House plan to object to the Electoral College vote tallying process.
Constitutional scholar and presidential historian, and the President of Duquesne University Ken Gormley said contesting the election process is nothing new.
“We have had a few of these in our history,” he explained. “There was the contested Hayes Tilden election in 1876 that led to a mess. But that was resolved and a law was passed after that the electoral count act of 1887 that fixed, many of those problems, and that’s what we are governed by today. Every once in a while, you know, one member of Congress will object just to express some moral opinion about something.”
He went on to say normally the objections come from a political party.
“Here you have one candidate who’s refusing to accept that he has lost the election, pushing and pushing to try to get folks to raise objections and that part is unprecedented,” Gormley said. “It’s all political theater at this point and this is what’s sad to me that a lot of the members of the American public have been misled by folks who are just doing this for political posturing purposes. They can raise questions and objections, but it would take both houses of Congress to return if that isn’t happening we know that already. But a lot of members of the public because you have this political posturing going on to try to make it look like there was confusion. It has upset a lot of people and that is very unfortunate.”
Gormley likens the president calling on the vice president to stop the recording of the electoral votes to a presenter at an award show opening the envelope and changing who wins.
“Under the 12th Amendment his only job is to take the envelopes that are handed to him and read the result,” Gormley explained. “He doesn’t get to decide who the winner is. This is a huge distraction, but it will not change the outcome. The system held up the way it was supposed to. These were in many cases as in Georgia, Republican officials who said sorry Mr President, but you lost and we’ve looked at it three times we can’t do anything about that.”
Gormley, who will soon add the next chapter about President Trump to his book on presidents and constitutional history, says this contesting of the election will be part of it.
WATCH: Interview With Duquesne University President And Historian Ken Gormley
“I think looking back, people will say, we went too far here to try to satisfy the will of one occupant of the White House, but this is about a country and a presidency that lasts much longer than that,” he said. “I really do think that many of the elected officials who were getting on hitching their wagon to this effort are going to go over the cliff with it and it will not look good for them in history.”
The Duquesne University president expects the president to not disappear.
“I think President Trump has every intention of remaining involved, but you know, again you can look at history, it’s filled with people who believed they had a bigger role than they really did and that was all about them,” he said. “History keeps moving, and it’s not going to all be about Donald Trump he had his moment in the White House and he did some good things and he did some bad things and history, we’ll look at all that. But I, I will be surprised if we are as focused on Donald Trump, a year from now, as people think, will continue to happen.”
A challenge to the Electoral College system and calls for change will not be a surprise to Gormley who says it happens after virtually every presidential election.