by Sharon Rondeau
(Jan. 6, 2021) — At approximately 3:15 p.m. EST, President Donald Trump remarked of his vice president, “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!”
The tweet was in apparent response to Pence’s letter issued earlier Wednesday stating he does not believe, as president of the Senate, that he possesses the authority to reject Electoral votes from states where widespread election fraud was reported from the November 3 presidential election.
January 6 is the day set by the Electoral Count Act of 1887 for Congress to count the Electoral votes cast by presidential electors in December following each general election in November. Pence’s letter referenced the Act and rejected the suggestion made by Rudy Giuliani at the “Save America March” earlier that rejecting electors’ votes outright was one of two options Pence could exercise in light of thousands of claims of voter fraud, particularly in six “swing” states, which, if accurate, would have changed the outcome of the election.
The second option Giuliani offered was that Pence could refer questionable electors’ votes back to the state legislatures for fuller investigation into claims of fraud. Legislators in five states requested it, Giuliani said, with a sixth expected to do so imminently.
During the Joint Session of Congress, violence ensued from protesters who breached the Capitol and entered congressional chambers as well as reportedly entered some offices. Prior to that, there were several interruptions of broadcast coverage of the House apparently prompted by hecklers responding to remarks made on the House floor by both Democrats and Republicans.
During the rally, Trump expressed optimism that Pence would take strong action in response to reports of fraud, although toward the end of his remarks, he indicated doubt as to whether or not Pence would do so.
In his letter released Wednesday, Pence said he believes fraud occurred and that state election laws were violated but that Congress should decide which actions to take after objections are aired.