President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are in “total agreement” that Pence has the authority to block the certification of President-Elect Joe Biden’s victory in the Electoral College, Trump said Tuesday night.
Trump released a statement hours after the New York Times reported that Pence was said to have told Trump he didn’t have the authority to decertify the results. Pence will serve a procedural role in announcing the college’s election of Biden in a special session of Congress on Jan. 6. (RELATED: Trump Vows Revenge Against Brian Kemp, Raffensperger In Georgia Rally)
“The New York Times report regarding comments Vice President Pence supposedly made to me today is fake news. He never said that. The Vice President and I are in total agreement that the Vice President has the power to act,” Trump said in a Tuesday statement.
The Vice President has the power to reject fraudulently chosen electors.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 5, 2021
“Our Vice President has several options under the U.S. Constitution. He can decertify the results or send them back to the states for change and certification. He can also decertify the illegal and corrupt results and send them to the House of Representatives for the one vote for one state tabulation,” he added.
Pence himself has not weighed in publicly on the Jan. 6 ceremony. While he has the authority to either hear or overrule objections to the Electoral College’s vote, he does not have the authority to overturn the vote outright. When Biden himself was in the same position with Trump’s election in 2016, he chose to overrule objections to Trump’s win during the session.
The Electoral Count Act of 1887, which governs the process, specifically prohibits the vice president from intervening in the procedures.
More than a dozen Republican senators have announced their intentions to formally object to certifying Biden’s win during the session.
Republican Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley and Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz are leading the effort, but it is unlikely to have more than a symbolic effect. Republican colleagues have criticized the effort, removing any hope of a majority in the Senate. Democrats also maintain a majority in the House, where roughly 100 Republicans have vowed to object.
The Trump campaign and Republican surrogates have filed around 40 lawsuits trying to overturn the election results since Nov. 3 without winning a single one for lack of evidence.