Mike Pence rejects Trump’s call to overturn Biden election
Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday refused President Donald Trump’s demand that he try to block confirmation by Congress of Joe Biden’s election as the next president of the United States.
Pence said in a letter that he did not believe, as Trump has claimed, that a vice president has the unilateral power to reject Electoral College votes for a candidate.
His dramatic break from Trump came minutes before the vice president began presiding over a joint session of Congress, which is meeting to declare Biden the victor.
“It is my considered judgement 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 said in a three-page letter addressed to “Dear Colleague.”
“Given the controversy surrounding this year’s election, some approach this year’s quadrennial tradition with great expectation, and others with dismissive disdain,” Pence wrote.
“Some believe that as Vice President, I should be able to accept or reject electoral votes unilaterally. Others believe that electoral votes should never be challenged in a Joint Session of Congress. After a careful study of our Constitution, our laws, and our history, I believe neither view is correct.”