Trump tweeted falsely Monday that “the Vice President has the power to reject fraudulently chosen electors.” The New York Times reported that Pence told Trump during their meeting that he did not believe he had the power to block congressional certification.
Pence intends to act as a moderator, fulfilling his duties as president of the Senate, the sources said. They don't expect him to take any actions to influence the outcome aside from letting members who raise objections carry out debates over the results as outlined in the rules.
In recent days, Pence has met with the Senate parliamentarian to go over the process and logistics, Short said. Pence scrapped a trip that had been in the planning stages to travel to Europe and the Middle East immediately after the congressional certification, people familiar with the discussions said.
Alex Moe is a Capitol Hill producer for NBC News covering the House of Representatives. Peter Alexander, Carol E. Lee, Frank Thor V, Leigh Ann Caldwell and Pete Williams contributed.
But Pence defied Trump, and in a lengthy letter to members of Congress on Wednesday, said he did not have the power to throw out the electoral votes that will make Biden the next president. Marc Short, chief of staff for Vice President Mike Pence AP“It is my considered judgment 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 wrote.
The nation’s high court was also booed and jeered at the rally, for not entertaining Team Trump ’s failed legal effort to overturn the 2020 election. On two occasions, Trump expressed his frustration that Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), who has been campaigning for Offer and Purdue in Georgia and was in Dalton, did not sign on to a doomed effort from GOP senators to block Biden’s Electoral College victory.
Nor will he turn power over to Vice President Pence and ask him for a pardon, according to top White House advisers who have spoken with the highest ranking members of Mr. Trump's Cabinet, including Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, Pence and chief of staff Mark Meadows. But on the other side is the Trump -inspired GOP base that threatens to launch primary challenges against House Republicans who vote for impeachment.
But top cabinet officials still holding positions, chief among them Mnuchin and Pompey, have not refuted the suggestion internally or externally in order to send a signal to Mr. Trump that it's an action they'd be willing to take if he cannot control himself. Top advisers to the White House now know Mr. Trump was generally and initially pleased with the protest at the Capitol, seeing it as a reflection of his supporters' love for him, and not as an assault on the legislative branch and the foundations of a democratic republic.