WASHINGTON (AP) – Influencing President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence acknowledged Wednesday that he did not have the power to throw electoral votes that would make Democrat Joe Biden the next president, defying Trump’s baseless hopes That Pence might somehow find a way, keep him in office.
Under pressure to reverse the electoral results of Trump and his allies, Pence issued a lengthy statement that the vice-president cannot claim “unilateral authority” to dismiss the vice president’s votes.
“It is my belief that my oath to support and defend the Constitution prevents me from unilaterally asserting authority to determine which voter votes should be counted and which should not,” Pence Wrote in a letter to members of Congress, before he fell into the joint. Congress session.
In a remarkable moment underlining the dramatic divide between Trump and his most loyal lieutenant, Pence issued the statement just after reaching the Capitol to count electoral votes, and even the president was stating that thousands of supporters Pence could reverse those results had gathered near the White House.
Trump told supporters, “If Mike Pence wins the election, we win the election.”
Trump tweeted Pence’s rejection after returning to the White House.
“Mike Pence did not dare to do what should have been done to protect our country and our constitution, giving the states a chance to prove a true set of facts, not fraud or wrong people, Which they were first asked to certify. “She wrote.” The United States Demands Truth! “
Trump and his allies spent days in a fruitless bid to persuade Pence – and the legacy of his supporters – that the Vice President would have the battlefield, after losing court case after court case and with no further options. Voters voted for Biden that had the power to reject.
He does not. The Constitution makes it clear that the Vice-President’s role in the joint session is largely ceremonial, much like the master of ceremonies.
While Pence’s allies had made clear that he intended to defend Trump, the vice president’s public statement was a significant departure for Pence, who spent the last four years defending the president and carefully avoiding his ire Have spent.
Trump is compromised by Pence’s meticulous political future, panicked by the risks. Pence is making a run for the White House in 2024 and has focused his years of loyalty to Trump to help Trump maintain loyalty to his crowd. Even out of office, Trump is expected to remain the de facto leader of the Republican Party and a political kingmaker for years to come.
Trump consumed with anger at Pence’s action on Wednesday, even as violent protesters swarmed the US Capitol, forcing lawmakers to hide and stop the proceedings. Even after the violence unfolded, much of Trump’s attention was devoted to Pence, according to a White House official who spoke only on condition of anonymity to discuss internal matters.
Pence was moved to a safe place outside the Senate chamber as protesters ransacked the building. And it was the Vice President, not Trump, who spoke with the acting Secretary of Defense to mobilize the DC National Guard on Wednesday afternoon.
Pence made it clear in his three-page letter that he would follow the Constitution, not the Commander in Chief, with no political reprisals. He acknowledged that a vice president does not have unilateral powers under the constitution and the rules of Congress that govern the electoral college. The rules make it clear that it is up to members of the House and Senate to voice their objections and assess their merits.
And so, as Trump’s rally continued in the bitter cold, Pence opened the proceedings and opened the certificate of electoral votes from each state and presented them in alphabetical order, “Taylor” appointed from the House and Senate. The process was soon put into an emergency as protesters broke into the Capitol, overwhelmed the police and forced the Vice President and members of Congress to take them out.
Pence later tweeted, “Violence and destruction is taking place at the US Capitol stop and it should stop now.” “Anyone involved should respect the law enforcement officers and leave the building immediately.”
When the count finally ends, Pence will have the job of announcing the winners of the competition and formalizing his defeat.
Despite the claims of Trump and his allies, the election did not result in widespread fraud. This has been confirmed by several election officials and William Barr, who stepped down as attorney general last month. Neither Trump nor any legislation promising objection in the count offered credible evidence that would change the outcome.