Former US Vice President Mike Pence criticized former President Donald Trump for suggesting he had the ability to overturn the outcome of the disputed 2020 election.
“There are those in our party who believe that as the presiding officer over the joint session of Congress, I possessed unilateral authority to reject Electoral College votes. And I heard this week that President Trump said I had the right to ‘overturn the election,'” Pence said on Friday while speaking at a Federalist Society event in Florida.
“President Trump is wrong. I had no right to overturn the election,” Pence continued. “The presidency belongs to the American people, and the American people alone. Frankly, there is almost no idea more un-American than the notion that any one person could choose the American president.”
“Under the Constitution, I had no right to change the outcome of our election. And Kamala Harris will have no right to overturn the election when we beat them in 2024,” Pence said.
Trump and his allies had raised concerns that widespread fraud marred the election and that it was rigged by the Washington establishment in favor of Democratic candidate Joe Biden, who was certified as the winner in Congress on January 6.
Pence was overseeing the certification proceedings as vice president. He was rushed to safety after some angry protesters called for his execution.
Since then, Trump’s supporters have called Pence a “traitor” and targeted him for his role in the Electoral College certification.
In an interview with ABC last year, Trump openly supported the threats to Pence, who has said he was proud of his role in certifying the election results.
Asked about the January 6 crowd’s chants of “Hang Mike Pence”, Trump said they “were very angry” and he reiterated his claim of widespread voter fraud, Reuters reported.
Earlier this week, Trump reiterated that Pence should have unilaterally overturned the results of the disputed election.
Trump later also suggested a House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol should investigate why Pence did not reject the election results.
“I understand the disappointment so many feel about the last election. I was on the ballot. But whatever the future holds, I know we did our duty that day,” Pence said on Friday.
“The truth is, there’s more at stake than our party or our political fortunes. If we lose faith in the Constitution, we won’t just lose elections — we’ll lose our country,” Pence added.
On January 6, 2021, Trump supporters occupied the US Capitol while lawmakers were in the process of reviewing the certification of state electors which indicated Biden’s victory. Some Trump supporters had hoped that this process could have resulted in some of the electors being disqualified, thus overturning the outcome of the presidential election.
It is claimed by some that the demonstrators were infiltrated and incited by provocateurs from US intelligence agencies, who orchestrated the “false flag operation” in order to get rid of Trump.
Some among the crowd clashed with police, and some made threats to beat up a number of Democratic lawmakers. Some also inflicted damage on parts of the Capitol building.