Vice President Mike Pence said he had no power to undo Donald Trump’s re-election defeat and defied the president’s demands that he unilaterally reject the electoral college votes from the disputed states during a congressional session Wednesday
The move sparked a swift reprimand from Trump that exposed an unprecedented divide in American leadership and helped fuel protests for Trump in the Capitol; Protesters broke police lines into the Capitol and forced security forces to lock down the legislative houses
Pence released a statement explaining his intentions just before a joint congressional session was called to confirm the results, which show that Joe Biden will become the next president
“It is my considered judgment that my oath to support and defend the Constitution prevents me from using unilateral authority to determine which votes should and should not be counted”Said Pence in a letter to Congress
The move drew a quick reprimand from Trump, who tweeted that Pence did not have the courage to do what should have been doneâ ????
Mike Pence did not have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our country and our constitution, and to allow states to confirm a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate that they were asked to certify beforehand USA calls the truth!
Pence released his statement at the same time as Trump spoke to a rally of thousands of his supporters near the White House and said he would be “disappointed” if Pence did not “do the right thing” – reject the votes and send them back to states
â ???? I hope Mike has the courage to do what he has to and I hope he doesn’t listen to the RINOs and the stupid people Trump said after Pence already published his letter, using an acronym that refers to Republicans in their name only
When the Congress met, demonstrators swarmed past barricades on the US Capitol Building Police parked the building Members of the house evacuated from their chamber Loud booms were heard in the Legislative Building as police in protective clothing took crowd control measures, including the use of pepper spray
Pence’s refusal to comply with Trump’s demands could hurt his political future The Vice President sees a possible run for the White House in 2024 but any setback from the President during Wednesday’s events could poison his reputation with Trump supporters, the pence would probably have to win
For four years, Pence was Trump’s most loyal subordinate in the White House and almost never publicly contradicted the President / p>
Pence chairs a normally drama-free joint congressional session to count the electoral college votes and confirm the winner.But Trump’s continued insistence that widespread electoral fraud cost him the victory has made the event a tense affair, the Expected to stretch for hours as its allies challenge votes from disputed states
Alluding to Trump’s wishes, Pence said he would allow House and Senate objections and evidence to be presented The Vice President reiterated Trump’s unsubstantiated claim that “our November election was subject to voting irregularities” and therefore objections should be heard
The joint session lasted just minutes before recess for lawmakers to consider an appeal against the vote of the Arizona electoral college, a former GOP bastion that Biden won, and is the first of several objections raised by Republican Congressmen to be Expected Pence said the complaint was in writing from a Representative and Senator and was therefore lawful.
Trump and his allies have claimed Pence could decertify the results and send them back to states for legislation to determine the winner, but neither the Constitution nor federal law grants the Vice President those powers
The Vice President’s role in the joint session is largely ceremonial – maintaining order, hearing objections and announcing the results.But Trump had turned to Pence as his last hope of staying in power
“Mike Pence will have to get through for us and if he doesn’t it will be a sad day for our country,” Trump said at the rally
Pence, Pennsylvania, US Congress, White House Protest, Inauguration
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