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Vice President Mike Pence has signaled his tacit support for an effort by congressional Republicans to raise objections to the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Late Saturday, hours after a group of Senate Republicans announced their intention to challenge the results of the election come Jan. 6th, the VP’s chief of staff, Marc Short, released a statement confirming that Pence “welcomes the efforts.”
“Vice President Pence shares the concerns of millions of Americans about voter fraud and irregularities in the last election,” the statement by Short reads.
“The Vice President welcomes the efforts of members of the House and Senate to use the authority they have under the law to raise objections and bring forward evidence before the Congress and the American people on January 6th.”
VP Chief of Staff Marc Short:
“Vice President Pence shares the concerns of millions of Americans about voter fraud and irregularities in the last election… 1/2
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) January 2, 2021
“The Vice President welcomes the efforts of members of the House and Senate to use the authority they have under the law to raise objections and bring forward evidence before the Congress and the American people on January 6th.” 2/2
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) January 2, 2021
The statement came as a surprise given that Pence had only days earlier rejected a long-shot attempt by Rep. Louie Gohmert to convince a judge to expand his powers as VP so that he could single-handedly determine the outcome of the 2020 election.
“A suit to establish that the Vice President has discretion over the count, filed against the Vice President, is a walking legal contradiction,” a 14-page filing, written and filed by Department of Justice attorneys representing Pence, read.
“It would be the Senate and the House of Representatives that are best positioned to defend the Act. Indeed, as a matter of logic, it is those bodies against whom plaintiffs’ requested relief must run,” the filing continued.
And Letter adds that it woudl make no sense for the Constitution to give the VP power to unilaterally determine who the next president and vice president are, particularly when the sitting VP is often a candidate. pic.twitter.com/JMGaRJuNDY
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) December 31, 2020
The rejection led President Donald Trump’s more die-hard supporters to assume the vice president was therefore against any and all challenges to the 2020 results.
Short’s statement indicates that Pence does support the effort, albeit only tacitly, meaning he’s not willing to put any skin in the game, per se.
For instance, taking into account his rejection of Gohmert’s effort, it’s unlikely he’d endorse a new idea proposed by Trump administration official Peter Navarro calling for him, the VP, to unilaterally delay Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden’s inauguration by 10 days or longer.
The 10-day delay would allow Congress to move forward with a plan proposed by Senate Republicans to appoint an electoral commission to audit the election results.
“Vice President Pence, he has the authority to give that 10-day window to do what needs to get done. And I cannot imagine, when he goes through the facts, he won’t vote the right way on that,” he said late Saturday on Fox News’ “Justice with Judge Jeanine.”
When host Judge Jeanine Pirro responded by noting that Inauguration Day cannot be delayed as per the U.S. Constitution, Navarro fired back, saying, “Well it can be changed, actually. … We can go past that date if we need to.”
It’s not clear whether his claim is valid.
Listen to the discussion below:
Navarro also teased the release of an upcoming report called “The Art of the Steal.”
“[T]he Democrat Party, as a matter of strategy, stole this election from Donald J. Trump, and on Monday I’m coming out with a new report, ‘The Art of the Steal’ — it’ll be on my Twitter feed — that shows beyond a shadow of a doubt this election was stolen,” he said.
“The Democrats used a lot of legal means to get to an illegal end. It was a game from the beginning, and it’s a tragedy. One thing we shouldn’t be strategically gaming is the foundation of this republic. They stole this, and we can prove it.”
While it’s unclear just exactly how many congressional Republicans support these efforts, late Saturday the White House reportedly held a conference call with at least 50 lawmakers, according to a statement from Rep. Mo Brooks given to Fox News.
While he stopped short of saying that everybody who participated in the call supports the ongoing efforts to challenge the 2020 election results, he did bluntly say that the number of Republicans who do support them are increasing daily.
“The momentum to fight against voter fraud and election theft is rapidly gaining. And as a consequence, the numbers that we had who were supportive yesterday are almost always supplemented by reinforcements today and the next day,” he said.
“In my judgment, the primary reason so many congressmen and senators are now coming forward to fight this fight is because so many American citizens have made it known that this fight is critical to America’s future.”
Our fight for honest & accurate elections gains momentum!@Jim_Jordan & I co-lead conference call w 50+ Congressmen who join & fight for America’s Republic!
Conf. call began 6PM ET. Now 715PM & continuing.
President Trump & CoS Mark Meadows speaking.
Morale is HIGH! FIGHT!
— Mo Brooks (@RepMoBrooks) January 3, 2021
Indeed, Rasmussen polling conducted in late November found that even 20 to 30 percent of Democrats believed the election was somehow “rigged” against the president.
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