The heated partisan politics of Capitol Hill will jump to scorching on Wednesday, when President…

The heated partisan politics of Capitol Hill will jump to scorching on Wednesday, when President TrumpDonald TrumpWarnock defeats Loeffler in Georgia Senate runoffThe Memo: Georgia voters deliver blow to TrumpEric Trump warns of primary challenges for Republicans who don’t object to election resultsMORE’s staunchest Republican allies will launch a formal, public and futile effort to keep him in power by overturning the results of November’s election.
Trumps allegations of rampant voter fraud have been debunked by the states and rejected by the courts. But that hasnt stopped more than 100 GOP loyalists in the House and Senate from backing his bid to toss out the vote tallies of certain battleground states. 
The extraordinary gambit has convulsed the Capitol in the final days of Trumps reign and cleaved the GOP into warring factions divisions that will bear long-lasting implications for both the future direction of the Republican Party and the success of the ambitious figures scrambling to lead it into a post-Trump world.
Such challenges have been tried before, but not on this scale: At least 13 Senate Republicans and more than 100 House Republicans are expected to vote to reject certification. Most of them are citing the various changes to election rules at precincts around the country in response to the public health threat posed by the coronavirus. 
I believe that this debate and discussion is owed to the American people. You have tens of millions of Americans who really have questions about the ballot integrity and election security, Rep. Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikElise Stefanik to object to certification of Electoral College results’Trumpification’ of the GOP will persistNJ Republican pushes for Ways and Means seat a year after switching partiesMORE (R-N.Y.), a key Trump defender during last years impeachment trial, said on Fox News.
The band of dissenting Republicans represents an unprecedented level of opposition to state-certified vote counts. And critics of the effort, largely Democrats, say its one that threatens to further erode Americans already waning trust in institutions and could cause lasting damage to Americas election system. Even some Republicans are warning colleagues that their effort is not only politically perilous, but patently unconstitutional. 
While I may not like the outcome of the election, that does not mean I can, nor should I, try to usurp the powers of the individual States of our republic, said Rep. Ann WagnerAnn Louise WagnerDemocrats projected to retain House majorityLive updates: Democrats seek to extend House advantageDemocrats seek wave to bolster House majorityMORE (R-Mo.), who hails from the same state as GOP Sen. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyAre Republicans tilting at windmills with their electoral challenge?Police say protest outside Hawley home not ‘that big of a deal’More than 170 top business executives urge Congress to certify Biden’s winMORE, one of the leaders of the pro-Trump effort.  
To allow Congress to alter the decided outcome of the election would irreparably damage our system of government and defy the Constitution.
Wednesdays event is typically a staid and uneventful affair.
In recent elections, only a handful of lawmakers from the opposition party launched objections, including a failed effort by Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersTrump election fight puts Pence in no-win situationBiden calls for the nation to ‘unite, heal and rebuild in 2021’Lawmakers share New Year’s messages: ‘Cheers to brighter days ahead’MORE (D-Calif.) and other Black Caucus members to protest Floridas contested vote count in 2000, and another by then-Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerGOP senator: ‘I cannot support allowing Congress to thwart the will of the voters’National Review criticizes ‘Cruz Eleven’: Barbara Boxer shouldn’t be conservative role modelSenate GOP leaders seek to put an end to election disputesMORE (D-Calif.) and then-Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Ohio) objecting to Ohios handling of the 2004 election.  
But with Trump agitating his base and threatening to recruit primary challengers to run against disloyal lawmakers, many Republicans, particularly in the House, feel that it would be political suicide to defy the president, a lame duck who still holds enormous sway over his party.
We don’t have a choice, said one reluctant House Republican, citing pressure from Trump and conservative voters back in his district.
Highlighting the risk to Republicans who want to keep their day job, Trump on Tuesday evening fired a warning shot at GOP lawmakers thinking of abandoning him. 
I hope the Democrats, and even more importantly, the weak and ineffective RINO section of the Republican Party, are looking at the thousands of people pouring into D.C, Trump tweeted. They wont stand for a landslide election victory to be stolen.
Complicating the decision for Republicans were a pair of special Senate elections in Georgia on Tuesday, when voters went to the polls to decide which party will control the upper chamber over the next two years. With the stakes so high, Republicans were wary of bucking the popular president and deflating the base ahead of those contests. 
The process itself promises to be a spectacle of political theater and a long one, at that. 
Members of both chambers will gather in the House at 1 p.m. for a joint session of Congress as part of the quadrennial exercise to count the Electoral College votes submitted by the states. Its there that conservative Republicans are expected to challenge the electoral results in as many as six states Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin where theyve accused election officials of various improprieties. 
For each state thats formally challenged, the House and Senate will split up to their respective chambers to debate the merits of the objection for up to two hours, after which time each chamber votes. 
For a states vote to be scrapped, both chambers must approve it. Because Democrats control the House, none of the challenges will pass, paving the way for Biden to assume the White House on Jan. 20. 
I expect without a doubt that the report of the Electoral College and the 306 electoral votes that Mr. Biden got will be confirmed at the end of this process, House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerHoyer says Trump Georgia call likely criminal, wants ‘serious’ investigationHouse approves rules package for new CongressChip Roy challenges seating of House members from six presidential battleground statesMORE (D-Md.) told reporters. 
Wednesdays proceedings also come against the backdrop of the race to succeed Trump at the top of the party, even as hes flirted with running again in 2024. A pair of likely presidential hopefuls Sens. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzAre Republicans tilting at windmills with their electoral challenge?More than 170 top business executives urge Congress to certify Biden’s winTrump election fight puts Pence in no-win situationMORE (R-Texas) and Hawley are spearheading the effort to overturn the election, betting that Trump will remain popular among the party faithful heading into the next presidential election cycle. 
But several others mulling a White House bid, including Sens. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonTrump pressure campaign splits 2024 GOP contendersTrump raises pressure on Pence, incorrectly stating he could throw out electorsThe Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Georgia election day is finally here; Trump hopes Pence ‘comes through for us’ to overturn resultsMORE (R-Ark.) and Ben SasseBen SasseTrump pressure campaign splits 2024 GOP contendersThe GOP must stop Americans from believing elections are riggedRepublican infighting on election intensifiesMORE (R-Neb.), are taking the opposite view, arguing that raising objections would erode states rights, hand too much power to Congress and amount to an exercise in futility. 
[O]bjecting to certified electoral votes won’t give the president a second term, Cotton wrote Tuesday in an op-ed in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. With Democrats in control of the House, Republicans have no chance of invalidating even a single electoral vote, much less enough votes to deny Joe BidenJoe BidenThe Memo: Georgia voters deliver blow to TrumpWarnock win puts Democrats within reach of Senate majorityEric Trump warns of primary challenges for Republicans who don’t object to election resultsMORE a majority in the electoral college. 
Instead, these objections would exceed Congress’ constitutional power, while creating unwise precedents that Democrats could abuse the next time they are in power.
Some of Trumps fiercest House allies have also emerged in recent days as the most vocal opponents of the state challenges. Rep. Chip RoyCharles (Chip) Eugene RoyPelosi warns lawmakers to social distance after many flout guidelinesThe Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Trump’s new phone call controversy, Georgia runoffs headline big weekChip Roy challenges seating of House members from six presidential battleground statesMORE (R-Texas), for instance, is an ardent Trump supporter, a member of the Freedom Caucus and Cruzs former chief of staff. Still, the conservative firebrand offered a resolution on the House floor Sunday attempting to block the swearing-in of any new members of Congress from the six contested states. 
Roys message to his GOP colleagues was not subtle: If Bidens victory in those states is illegitimate, he was saying, then yours might be, too. Few of his fellow Republicans saw the discrepancy, however, and only two GOP lawmakers voted to prevent Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiGOP Rep. Kevin Brady tests positive for COVID-19Pelosi names House Democratic leaders for Electoral College debateOn The Money: Wall Street zeros in on Georgia runoffs | Seven states sue regulator over ‘true lender’ rule on interest rates | 2021 deficit on track to reach .3 trillionMORE (D-Calif.) from swearing in the entire House.  
Outside the building, officials in Washington are bracing for tensions and even the possibility of violence as thousands of pro-Trump protesters pour into a famously liberal city.
Police have installed a perimeter fence around the Capitol complex, and House Sergeant at Arms Paul D. Irving has urged lawmakers to use secure underground tunnels to travel between their offices and the House chamber rather than walking or driving outdoors.
D.C. Mayor Muriel BowserMuriel BowserTrump supporters show up to DC for election protestBowser to DOJ, Pentagon: DC isn’t asking federal law enforcement to assist with protestsTrump raises pressure on Pence, incorrectly stating he could throw out electorsMORE has mobilized the National Guard, and implored D.C. residents to avoid downtown and not engage the pro-Trump factions. Downtown businesses boarded up their windows and doors.
Republicans are inciting violence. Trump is too, warned Democratic Rep. Gerry ConnollyGerald (Gerry) Edward ConnollyThis week: Congress races to wrap work for the year GSA offers to brief Congress next week on presidential transitionDemocrats gear up for last oversight showdown with TrumpMORE, who represents the suburbs outside of Washington. 
Now the counting of ballots, which is a ministerial act, is now going to become an opportunity for political incitement and potential violence.