Former president Donald Trump suggested in a statement Sunday night that then-Vice President Mike Pence should have “overturned” the election on Jan. 6, 2021, as he presided over the counting of electoral college votes by Congress.
Trump has expressed frustration before that Pence did not use his role to try to reject the votes of several states that Joe Biden won. But the language in Sunday’s statement was among Trump’s most explicit in publicly stating his desire.
The statement came in response to ongoing efforts by Congress to make changes to the Electoral Count Act, a law that governs what Congress should do in the case of any disputes about which candidate won in a state. Among the changes under consideration is making it more explicit that the role of the vice president is merely ceremonial.
“If the Vice President (Mike Pence) had ‘absolutely no right’ to change the Presidential Election results in the Senate, despite fraud and many other irregularities, how come the Democrats and RINO Republicans, like Wacky Susan Collins, are desperately trying to pass legislation that will not allow the Vice President to change the results of the election?” Trump said in his statement. “Actually, what they are saying, is that Mike Pence did have the right to change the outcome, and they now want to take that right away. Unfortunately, he didn’t exercise that power, he could have overturned the Election!”There has been no evidence of widespread fraud in any states in which Biden prevailed, despite repeated claims by Trump to the contrary.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) is among the lawmakers involved in bipartisan talks about changes to the Electoral Count Act, an effort that has gained momentum in the wake of the failure of Democrats to pass sweeping voting rights legislation.
Among the other changes under consideration is raising the total number of senators and House members required to challenge a state’s count.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Monday that Trump’s statement was “just a reminder of how unfit he is for office.”
“He even attacked his own vice president for not, in his words, having ‘overturned the election,’” Psaki said.
Psaki added that President Biden is open to changes in the Electoral Count Act but does not view that as a substitute for passing voting rights legislation.
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), an outspoken Trump critic who voted to impeach him on a charge of inciting an insurrection, said in a tweet Monday that the former president would try to do it again.
“Trump uses language he knows caused the Jan 6 violence; suggests he’d pardon the Jan 6 defendants, some of whom have been charged with seditious conspiracy; threatens prosecutors; and admits he was attempting to overturn the election. He’d do it all again if given the chance,” wrote Cheney, who is vice chairman of the select House committee investigating the attack on the Capitol.
George Conway, a conservative lawyer and husband of former White House aide Kellyanne Conway, was among those who took to social media to respond to Trump’s statement.
“The answer is: The Twelfth Amendment and the Electoral Count Act of 1887 already make it entirely clear that the Vice President merely opens the envelopes,” Conway tweeted. “But sometimes we want to make laws even clearer so that even semiliterate psychopaths have a chance at understanding them.”
Trump’s latest salvo at Pence, who is considering a 2024 bid for president, came a day after he dangled the prospect of pardons for rioters charged in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol if he is elected president in 2024.
“If I run and I win, we will treat those people from January 6 fairly,” Trump said Saturday near the end of a lengthy campaign rally in Conroe, Tex. “We will treat them fairly, and if it requires pardons, we will give them pardons because they are being treated so unfairly.”
John Wagner, Washington Post, January 31, 2022
January 31, 2022
Voices4America Post Script. The defeated former guy once again admitted he has committed a crime out loud. Yes, he tried to overturn an election. He wanted Pence to throw out your votes. He also said he would consider pardoning the January 6 insurrectionists he sent to stop a peaceful transition of power. #TrumpCriminalityOutLoud
Here is his statement, again.