Trump Slams Pence for Lacking 'Courage'

VP said he didn't have authority to reject electoral college votes
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 6, 2021 1:55 PM CST
Pence: I Haven't Got the Authority to Change Result
Vice President Mike Pence presides over a joint session of Congress as it convenes to count the Electoral College votes cast in November's election, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, is at right.   (Saul Loeb/Pool via AP)

President Trump urged Vice President Pence to "come through for us" and reject Electoral College votes Wednesday—but his hopes were dashed before the joint session of Congress to certify the results began. In a statement issued just as he was to begin presiding over the session, the AP reports that Pence said he does not have the authority to discard electoral votes. He said it is "my considered judgement that my oath to support and defend the Constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not." He said he had carefully studied "our Constitution, our laws, and our history."

Pence said giving the vice president the power to decide the presidency would be "entirely antithetical" to the design of the Constitution, the Hill reports. Trump slammed his vice president in an angry tweet. "Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!" he wrote. At a rally earlier, he said he would be "very disappointed" if Pence didn't obey his demands. "I'm not hearing good stories," he added. (Read more Election 2020 stories.)

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