Donald Trump wants his supporters to rally in Washington DC on 6 January. Here's why.

Supporters of Donald Trump, including the far-right group Proud Boys, are expected to protest in Washington DC on 6 January.

Members of the Proud Boys and other right-wing demonstrators during a rally in Portland in 2019.

Members of the Proud Boys and other right-wing demonstrators during a rally in Portland in 2019. Source: AAP

President Donald Trump is urging his supporters to amass in Washington on 6 January for a last-ditch rally to pressure Congress to not certify Joe Biden's election victory.

Thousands of supporters from around the country, from the Women for America First group, to StoptheSteal, to the violent Proud Boys, are expected to descend on the US capital pressing Trump's unsupported claim that massive voter fraud was behind his defeat in the 3 November election.

Mr Trump tweeted twice this weekend urging supporters to attend, labelling the election "the biggest SCAM in our nation's history."

"See you in Washington, DC, on January 6th. Don't miss it," he wrote on Sunday.

Fears of violence

The rally raised fears of fresh violence after the previous pro-Trump protest that included the Proud Boys on 12 December saw several people stabbed and dozens arrested.

Mr Trump appears to hope that the protesters could pressure Congress to reject the final count of state-based electors and reverse his election loss.

"We the People must take to the US Capitol lawn and steps and tell Congress #DoNotCertify," StopTheSteal declared online.

"Congress cannot certify this fraudulent Electoral College," they said.

On 6 January Vice President Mike Pence is to lead Congress in certifying the Electoral College votes submitted by each state, which represent the results of the popular vote.

In the joint session of the House of Representatives and the Senate, Mr Pence is to open and read the certificates reporting elector tallies from each state, and then declare the victor.

That process should be, as it almost always is, a formality.

Mr Biden captured 306 electors while Mr Trump only won 232.

Pro-Trump challenges 

Mr Trump's campaign has lost dozens of court challenges in several contested states, with judge after judge saying they showed no evidence of any significant fraud.

But the session can be stalled if lawmakers from both houses submit formal objections to any state's report.

Alabama Representative Mo Brooks told Fox News on Monday that he has the support of "dozens" of lawmakers to formally challenge the counts.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump and supporters have pressured Mr Pence to unilaterally reject some pro-Biden states' elector certificates, a power legal experts say Mr Pence does not have.

Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger on Sunday said it was all an effort by "certain members of Congress and the president" to raise money.

"It is a scam and it is going to disappoint the people that believe this election was stolen," he told CNN.


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Published 29 December 2020 at 1:18pm
Source: AFP - SBS