Pence won’t interfere with election certification despite Trump’s pressure, officials say

President urges vice-president to subvert democracy while Washington DC prepares for protests planned by Trump supporters

By David Smith in Dalton, Georgia,
and Peter Beaumont in London and agencies
Jan6, 2021

Donald Trump is intensifying pressure on Mike Pence to subvert democracy and overturn the election result when Congress meets on Wednesday to affirm Joe Biden’s victory, even as sources close to the vice-president indicate he will not interfere in the certification.

The president has been hyping the congressional tally of electoral college votes as a dramatic last stand and urged supporters to stage “wild” street demonstrations in Washington. In reality, Biden’s win is a foregone conclusion and the vice-president’s ceremonial role as presiding officer has been likened to an awards host opening envelopes.

Even so, defying norms to the end, Trump falsely insists that Pence can intervene and change the outcome. At a rally in Dalton, Georgia, ahead of Tuesday’s crucial Senate runoff elections, the president said: “I hope Mike Pence comes through for us … He’s a great guy. Of course, if he doesn’t come through, I won’t like him quite as much.”

He followed up with a tweet on Tuesday that wrongly claimed: “The Vice President has the power to reject fraudulently chosen electors.” Experts were quick to point out that the vice-president has no such power and there is no evidence of election fraud.

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