Rep.-elect Burgess Owens (R-Utah) said he will support a challenge to the Electoral College vote, saying there is “no question” President Donald Trump won.
Owens, a former NFL player endorsed by Trump, told the Salt Lake Tribune that he “absolutely” believes Trump won the election: “There’s no question in my mind that I think he won.”
That’s why he said he is joining the effort to challenge the votes during the Joint Session of Congress on Jan. 6. The bid requires at least one House representative and a senator.
On Wednesday, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) became the first senator to join the bid to challenge the votes, joining dozens of representatives.
“In 10 years in the NFL, I played in a lot of losing games,” Owens said, according to the paper. “If you leave everything on the field and you’ve done everything you can and there’s nothing left, then it’s a winning game regardless of what the score might be.”
Owens added that joining the effort is the “right thing to do” because a significant percentage of Republicans believed the election was rigged against Trump.
“My goal basically is just to make sure that I’m doing everything I can to take this to every legal end we have,” he told the newspaper. “And once the official count is done, then we’ll respect whoever the president is.”
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The move could be supported by as many as 100 House representatives, said Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), who is a frequent critic of Trump and his supporters.
“I hope I’m wrong. I’m guessing it will be upwards of 100,” the lawmaker said in an interview earlier this week. “I think you’re going to have some people that come out and take a strong stand,” he said, adding that “I’m not going to be surprised if it approaches three figures.”
As of Friday, 40 members or members-elect support the challenge.
Some GOP senators have said the challenge would fail, while some said the move is allowed under the Constitution and pointed to previous Democratic-led efforts to challenge votes during the Joint Session. Meanwhile, the House is controlled by Democrats.
“Senator Hawley has every right to object,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told Fox News on Thursday. “But it’s another thing to overturn an election of another state.”
“If dead people were voting, I want the names,” the South Carolina Republican added. “If you’re going to retry the case in the Senate that’s already been tried in the federal courts it would be hard for me to basically take over the federal courts’ role. But I will listen and we’ll see how it comes out.”