Trump: Investigators should explore why Pence didn’t reject Electoral College results
Former President Trump on Tuesday said the House select committee probing the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol should investigate why then-Vice President Mike Pence did not reject the Electoral College results for the 2020 presidential election, contending that such a move would have prevented the deadly riot from taking place.
Trump, in a statement dispatched by his Save America PAC, also said that violence could have been avoided on Jan. 6 if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had heeded his recommendation to increase security at the Capitol building that day.
“If it [Electoral College votes] were sent back to the legislators, or if Nancy Pelosi, who is in charge of Capitol security, had taken my recommendation and substantially increased security, there would have been no ‘January 6’ as we know it!” Trump said.
“Therefore, the Unselect Committee should be investigating why Nancy Pelosi did such a poor job of overseeing security and why Mike Pence did not send back the votes for recertification or approval, in that it has now been shown that he clearly had the right to do so!” he added.
The former president also criticized efforts on Capitol Hill to reform the Electoral Count Act, an 1887 law that outlines how electoral votes are tallied. He again claimed that the bipartisan effort to reform the law indicates that Pence did have the ability to reject the Electoral College results — an argument he made in a statement over the weekend.
Trump seemed to target the Jan. 6 select committee in making that argument, though the panel has not specifically been working to change the law.
“So pathetic to watch the Unselect Committee of political hacks, liars, and traitors work so feverishly to alter the Electoral College Act so that a Vice President cannot ensure the honest results of the election, when just one year ago they said that ‘the Vice President has absolutely no right to ensure the true outcome or results of an election,’” Trump said in a statement.
“In other words, they lied, and the Vice President did have this right or, more pointedly, could have sent the votes back to various legislators for reassessment after so much fraud and irregularities were found,” he added.
Trump’s Tuesday statement comes two days after the former president admitted that he wanted Pence to overturn the 2020 presidential election. He wrote in a separate statement that Pence “unfortunately” did not “exercise that power,” adding “he could have overturned the Election!”
The statements come as efforts to reform the Electoral Count Act are gaining steam on Capitol Hill. A group of Senate Democrats unveiled legislation on Tuesday that would reform the 1887 law.
Proposed changes include clarifying that the vice president’s role in overseeing the formal counting of the Electoral Vote is ceremonial and increasing the number of House and Senate lawmakers needed to support an objection before triggering a vote in the chambers. Currently only one member is required.
Additionally, the senators are calling for upping the threshold for upholding the objection from a simple majority in both chambers to three-fifths in both chambers.
A bipartisan group of senators met last week to discuss potential changes to the law.
Trump’s argument that Pence could have objected to the Electoral College results is similar to that made by lawyer John Eastman, according to CNN, who was subpoenaed by the Jan. 6 committee in November. Eastman reportedly gave guidance to Trump and his team on using Pence to push back on the 2020 presidential election results and urging state legislatures to reject electors from specific states.
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