- At a Monday rally, President Donald Trump said he hoped Vice President Mike Pence “comes through” to help him overturn the 2020 election results.
- Trump appears to think Pence has the power to certify him as the winner when Congress certifies the Electoral College vote on Wednesday.
- As vice president, Pence is to preside over Wednesday’s joint session of Congress to read aloud the certificates cast by the Electoral College to finalize the vote count and confirm the selection of the next president.
- But Pence’s role is largely ceremonial, and he has no real power to change the results.
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President Donald Trump told supporters at a rally on Monday that he hoped Mike Pence “comes through” to help overturn the 2020 election results this week, when the vice president is scheduled to preside over a joint session of Congress to formally announce the winner.
Trump has expressed a belief that Pence has the power to influence the outcome of Wednesday’s ceremony, during which the vice president is supposed to witness each state’s Electoral College result being read out and then announce the president-elect, who in this case is Joe Biden.
Pence’s role in that process is largely ceremonial.
The New York Times likened Pence’s role to that of a presenter at the Academy Awards. He will read out the winner but has no power to influence who that winner is.
This puts Pence in the awkward position of infuriating the president, whose support he will want if he decides to run for president in 2024.
“I hope Mike Pence comes through for us, I have to tell you,” Trump said at his Monday rally for the two Republicans running in the Senate runoff races in Georgia.
“Of course, if he doesn’t come through, I won’t like him quite as much,” Trump said, adding that Pence was “going to have a lot to say about it.”
“And you know one thing with him, you’re going to get straight shots,” Trump continued. “He’s going to call it straight.”
Pence also risks losing the support of Trump’s fans, who on Monday yelled at a separate Georgia rally for him to “Stop the steal!” according to The Times.
Pence assured the crowd that he shared “the concerns of millions of Americans about voting irregularities” and that “we’ll have our day in Congress” on Wednesday and “we’ll hear the evidence.”
Pence appeared to be referring to the effort by a group of Republicans to challenge the election results in several states on Wednesday. On Saturday, the vice president said he “welcomes” those attempts.
While these Republicans will have the ability to force a vote on these results, their chances of winning these challenges are slim to none with Democrats in control of the House, as the Associated Press noted.
Pence’s inner circle expects him to follow the rules and fulfill his ceremonial role as Senate president, The Times reported, citing the vice president’s aides.
Sources close to Pence also told the AP that he respected institutions and that they expected him to follow the letter of the law.
“I think he will approach this as a constitutionalist, basically, and say, ‘What’s my role in the Constitution as president of the Senate?'” said David McIntosh, a friend of Pence’s who is the president of the conservative Club for Growth.
“What he’ll do is allow anybody who is going to move to object to be heard, but then abide by what the majority of the Senate makes the outcome.”
- Read more:
- Former Mueller prosecutor says the call of Trump asking a Georgia official to change the election results shows ‘criminal intent’
- Mike Pence ‘welcomes’ the efforts of Republican lawmakers to challenge Biden’s win, days before Congress is due to certify the election results
- A federal appeals court shot down a GOP lawmaker’s lawsuit against Mike Pence seeking to overturn the 2020 election
- ‘I screamed in my car’: A Georgia election official debunks Trump’s ‘ridiculous claims’ from the president’s leaked phone call with Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger