In the hours before the Supreme Court rejected it, another 20 House Republicans — including their top leader — joined a legal brief on Friday supporting an extraordinary lawsuit seeking to overturn President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory, underscoring the increasingly extreme lengths to which many in the party are willing to go to invalidate the election results.
The Supreme Court on Friday rejected the suit brought by Texas to throw out the results in four battleground states won by Mr. Biden, but not before more than 60 percent of House Republicans had signed onto the effort. The group reached beyond Mr. Trump’s staunchest allies and included powerful figures such as the chamber’s top two officials and the leaders of influential committees, all of whom put their official stamp on a brazen effort to upend millions of legally cast votes.
The court declined to do so, but the number of House Republicans who backed the effort highlighted their unflagging willingness to stand in support of Mr. Trump no matter how audacious the test — even during his waning days in the White House — and foreshadowed a toxic dynamic awaiting Mr. Biden when he takes office.
The effort to rally lawmakers around the lawsuit had begun earlier this week when Representative Mike Johnson of Louisiana sent an email to his Republican colleagues soliciting signatures for the legal brief in support of it. The initiative had been personally blessed by Mr. Trump, Mr. Johnson wrote, and the president was “anxiously awaiting” to see who in Congress would step up to the plate to defend him.
By Friday afternoon, 126 lawmakers had done so, including Representative Kevin McCarthy, the minority leader. Some conceded openly that they did not expect the effort to succeed. Others privately characterized it as a recognition that many of their constituents believed Mr. Trump’s false assertions that he was the true winner of the election. [Continue reading…]