Former Vice President Mike Pence appeared to acknowledge in a recent interview that he could have rejected elector slates from certain states following the 2020 election and allowed the House of Representatives to decide whether or not to accept them, according to The Post Millennial.
That admission seems to sharply conflict with his prior repeated assertions that he had no constitutional right or ability to make any decisions with regard to state elector slates following the controversial Jan. 6, 2021, congressional certification of the 2020 election results that was temporarily delayed due to the riot at the Capitol sparked by disputed results and claims of election fraud in certain states.
It also underlines the frantic efforts of a Democrat-led Congress in 2022 to make reforms to the Electoral Count Act of 1887 to specifically clarify what a vice president could and couldn't do in future congressional certifications -- which in itself served as an admission that vice presidents previously had the right and ability to decide what to do with disputed elector slates from individual states.
"It wasn’t just to ask for a pause," former Vice President Pence told Fox News host Martha MacCallum of former President Donald Trump's request -- for which Trump has now been criminally indicted -- that he reject the elector slates from states where the 2020 election results were in dispute.
"The president specifically asked me, and his gaggle of crackpot lawyers asked me, to literally reject votes, which would have resulted in the issue being turned over to the House of Representatives, and literally chaos would have ensued," he continued.
"So Martha, I just -- people can read the indictment and, frankly, I’ve said before, I had hoped that it’d not come to this point," Pence said.
"You know, I don’t know if the government can meet the standard, the burden of proof beyond reasonable doubt, for criminal charges, but the American people deserve to know that President Trump and his advisors didn’t just ask me to pause, they asked me to reject votes, return votes, essentially to overturn the election," he added.
Listen to this
Pence just admitted he did have the authority to turn the election over to the House under the Constitution
That means that efforts to prepare for that could not have been an illegal conspiracy pic.twitter.com/0hHRHLQdq6
— Jack Poso 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) August 7, 2023
The Post Millennial noted that Special Counsel Jack Smith recently issued a second criminal indictment against former President Trump in relation to his efforts to challenge the reported results of the 2020 election, which included his efforts to convince former Vice President Pence to reject the elector slates from certain disputed states and either have those states reconsider their reported results or allow the House to decide whether or not to accept them.
Pence and others have steadfastly insisted since Jan. 6, 2021, that the vice president, in their role as the presiding officer of the Senate, had no right or ability to do anything other than rubberstamp the electoral slates put forward by the individual states during the congressional certification process.
If that were in fact the case, however, why then did the Democrat-led Congress in 2022 feel the urgent need to reform the Electoral Count Act of 1887 to specifically clarify that the vice president would serve only a ceremonial role going forward in future congressional certifications of presidential elections?
NPR reported in December 2022 that, as part of a must-pass omnibus spending bill, Congress passed the Electoral Count Reform Act of 2022 to specifically address the purported "ambiguities" of the "poorly written" 1887 law that governs how Congress certifies presidential elections.
At that time, the left-leaning Campaign Legal Center cheered the changes to the 1887 law that it argued "was rife with imprecise language, gaps and ambiguities that former President Donald Trump and his allies attempted to exploit as part of an organized effort to overturn the 2020 election."
According to USA Today at that time, the new law specifies that the vice president's role in the certification process is now purely "ceremonial," it raised the threshold of objection to electoral slates from one member in each chamber to 20 percent of each chamber, added new authenticity and security measures to how those elector slates are submitted to Congress, and expedited the judicial process in which legal challenges to electoral slates would be handled going forward.