Trump orchestrates final loyalty test in dying bid to subvert election

The president is plotting to force Republicans to go on record answering one question: Are they for or against his bid to overturn the election?

President Donald Trump is plotting a final stand in Congress on Jan. 6, casting it as the ultimate loyalty test in his quest to remain in power and shutting out anyone who won’t get in line.

Trump has been strategizing in recent days with a band of his fiercest congressional supporters about the effort, which will involve lodging objections during the typically pro forma congressional certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

It’s a gambit that even Republican leaders and those around Trump concede is doomed to fail, given the makeup of Congress. But that’s not the only point, according to GOP lawmakers, Trump advisers and Republican operatives.

The objections will also force Republicans in Congress to go on record voting to affirm Biden’s victory — acknowledging the outcome and likely inflaming Trump’s diehard supporters, a crucial GOP faction that has joined the president in denying the election results. Republican strategists and Trump allies inside and outside Washington said Trump’s core supporters will remember how their lawmakers vote on Jan. 6.

It’s a preview of the burgeoning rift between two groups of Trump supporters: Those who will stand with him to subvert the outcome of the election, no matter what, and those who are accepting the results of the democratic process. The split between the groups is threatening to unravel the shaky alliances that allowed Trump to maintain his hold on multiple GOP factions during his tumultuous tenure, with implications for upcoming elections.