The Slatest

Pence “Welcomes” Efforts by Republican Lawmakers to Overturn Biden’s Victory

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence prepare to speak to the press in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on November 24, 2020 in Washington, D.C.
President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence prepare to speak to the press in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on November 24, 2020 in Washington, D.C. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

In recent days, some have argued that the futile efforts by Republican lawmakers to try to overturn the results of the election in Congress during the certification of Electoral College votes put Vice President Mike Pence in a tough position. But it turns out, Pence doesn’t actually seem to mind and thinks the challenges are a good idea at least in part because he agrees with concerns over voter fraud even though there’s been no credible evidence ever presented that would back the claim.

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“Vice President Pence shares the concerns of millions of Americans about voter fraud and irregularities in the last election,” Marc Short, the vice president’s chief of staff, said in a statement. “The vice president welcomes the efforts of members of the House and Senate to use the authority they have under the law to raise objections and bring forward evidence before the Congress and the American people on January 6th.”

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Short released his statement to the media after a group of 11 senators and senators-elect led by Sen. Ted Cruz said they would refuse to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory unless there is an audit of election result in “disputed states.” The Senate Republicans said they would vote to reject certification of electors in those states until the audit is carried out. Sen. Josh Hawley has also said he would vote against certification of the results while as many as 140 Republicans in the House of Representatives have said they could vote against certifying Biden’s Electoral College victory. Although their actions won’t have any real effect and Biden’s victory will be certified, Pence’s supports for the efforts illustrates how Republicans keep pushing their baseless claims of fraud without producing a single bit of evidence that would support their claims. Their continued insistence that there was something wrong with the election comes despite the fact that all states have certified the results and judges across the country, even many appointed by President Donald Trump, have unceremoniously tossed out dozens of efforts to challenge the results.

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Pence expressed support for the efforts to overturn the election on the same evening as a federal appeals court threw out a lawsuit filed by Rep. Louie Gohmert that sought to give the vice president the power to overturn the results of the election. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the lawsuit with a one-paragraph opinion Saturday evening that said Gohmert and 11 Arizona Republicans that joined him in the case don’t have legal standing to sue. “We need say no more, and we affirm the judgment essentially for the reasons stated by the district court,” the appeals court panel, made up entirely of Republican appointees, wrote. “We express no view on the underlying merits or on what putative party, if any, might have standing.” Pence, who was represented by Justice Department attorneys, had called on the court to dismiss Gohmert’s lawsuit.

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