by Sharon Rondeau
(Jan. 6, 2021) — On Tuesday night, President Donald Trump tweeted a response to a New York Times article published earlier in the day claiming that Vice President Mike Pence, as president of the U.S. Senate, told Trump he lacks the constitutional authority to reject electoral votes from states where the Trump campaign has alleged systemic fraud on a scale large enough to have changed the outcome of the November 3 election.
As required by federal law, Pence will preside over a joint session of Congress beginning at 1:00 PM Wednesday to officially open and count the electoral votes cast for Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden, the latter of whom was declared the winner by the media on November 7 and certified by governors in all six “swing” states, which happen to have Republican-majority legislatures.
The six states in question — Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Nevada — sent alternate Republican electors to cast votes on December 14, the day indicated for the Electoral College to officially “elect” the next president.
New Mexico, also, sent Republican electors. Nevertheless, Biden continues to be referred to by the media as “President-Elect.”
Quoting the Constitution and the U.S. Supreme Court opinion in McPherson v. Blacker, Trump’s campaign attorneys have argued that state legislatures retain the constitutional authority to choose their presidential electors, but it is unclear if the Republican electors who cast opposing votes on December 14 were sanctioned by the legislatures or simply sent by each state’s Republican party.
On Monday, Trump campaign attorney Jenna Ellis suggested in an interview that Pence could send the challenged electoral votes from those states back to the respective legislatures for resolution.
In his statement Tuesday evening, Trump said, “The New York Times report regarding comments Vice President Pence supposedly made to me today’s fake news. He never said that. The Vice President and I are in total agreement that the Vice President has the power to act.”
The Times reported Trump’s claims of widespread voter fraud as “baseless.” Taking credit for its Pulitzer Prize in reporting the “Russia” investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign, authors Maggie Haberman and Annie Karni neglected to add that the “collusion” allegations levied against the 2016 Trump campaign which the paper kept alive for more than two years was found to be unsubstantiated by a 22-month investigation funded by taxpayers at a cost of approximately $45 million.
Regarding voter fraud, at a rally on Monday night for Georgia Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, Trump portended a release of eye-opening evidence “over the next couple of weeks.”
“I don’t concede,” he said.