Administration

Trump attacks Pence as protesters force their way into Capitol

President Trump on Wednesday turned on his own vice president, bashing Mike Pence for declining to illegally overturn the result of the election just as pro-Trump protesters stormed the Capitol building.

"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!" Trump tweeted.

The president's tweet came as Pence was ushered out of the Senate chamber after protesters overwhelming law enforcement outside the building and broke inside.

Pence was presiding over a joint session of Congress, where lawmakers were certifying the electors from all 50 states to affirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory. GOP lawmakers were set to object to the certification of at least three states, though the challenges would not change the result.

However, Trump and many of his supporters had been adamant that Pence possessed the power to unilaterally reject electors or even name Trump the winner. Pence made clear earlier Wednesday that was not the case.

Pence, in a letter to members of Congress on Wednesday, said he does not believe he has the "unilateral authority" to reject electoral votes and that it would be "antithetical" to the Constitution, dealing a final blow to Trump's push for Pence to overturn the election result.

"It is my considered judgment 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," Pence wrote in a letter to members of Congress.

Trump had whipped his supporters up at a rally earlier Wednesday, where he encouraged them to march toward the Capitol and urge lawmakers to refrain from certifying Biden as the winner.

"You'll never take back our country with weakness," Trump said. "You have to show strength and you have to be strong. We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated."

"I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically, make your voices heard today," he added.

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