Former President Trump is leaning into his recent, frank admission that he wanted his former VP Mike Pence to overturn the 2020 election results.
In his latest demand to the Jan. 6 “unselect” committee, Trump suggested the panel should investigate Pence for doing his job to certify the 2020 election results.
“The Unselect Committee should be investigating why Nancy Pelosi did such a poor job of overseeing security and why Mike Pence did not send back the votes for recertification or approval, in that it has now been shown that he clearly had the right to do so!” Trump said in a statement issued Tuesday through his Save America PAC.
Trump’s latest statement continues his crusade against the bipartisan effort in Congress to reform the Electoral Count Act (ECA), the 130-year-old law he had tried to weaponize to pressure Pence into throwing out the 2020 election results.
While ranting about the push to reform the ECA, the former president admitted in a statement on Monday that he wanted his VP to overturn the election results.
“Actually, what [the lawmakers] are saying, is that Mike Pence did have the right to change the outcome, and they now want to take that right away. Unfortunately, he didn’t exercise that power, he could have overturned the Election!” Trump said.
Trump is taking this all several steps further by urging the Jan. 6 committee to probe Pence’s refusal to bend to his demands on the day that the then-VP presided over the Senate during the joint session of Congress certifying Joe Biden’s electoral victory last year.
Despite Trump’s grievances, Pence never had the power to overturn elections. Reforming the ECA would solidify a vice president’s lack of authority to overturn election results and would make it more difficult for members of Congress to object to certifying results.
Trump’s demand for the committee to investigate Pence also comes on the heels of Marc Short, who served as Pence’s chief of staff, reportedly testifying before the panel.
According to CNN, Short testified before the committee in person last Wednesday during a lengthy session.
Short’s testimony came after he produced a limited number of documents that were subpoenaed by the panel. The documents reportedly included a memo from Trump aide Johnny Mentee likening Trump to Thomas Jefferson. A source also noted to CNN that it’s customary for witnesses to hand over more documents when they testify.
Although it’s unclear whether Pence himself will testify, committee Chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS) confirmed earlier this month that the panel has asked to speak to the former VP directly.
Pence’s legal team has reportedly had early, informal discussions with the committee, according to CNN. However, Pence is reportedly looking to aides such as Short to act as his “proxy” instead of the former VP having to appear before the committee himself.