According to Trump, “if Mike Pence does the right thing, we’ll win the election.” He added, “Vice President Pence all he has to do is send it back to the states for new certification,” to which Trump claimed Pence “has an absolute right.”
First, the facts: This is completely fake. There’s nothing in the law about Pence doing anything, just calling the cashiers and announcing the results. The Constitution only gives it the power to count votes.
CNN staffer Professor Steve Vladeck said Trump’s claim was “just not true.”
Vladeck pointed to Amendment 12, which outlines the traditional role of the Vice-President in the certification process as a largely ceremony. The Vice-President, as President of the Senate, has the right to “open all certificates and count the votes thereafter”.
“There is no discretion [the Vice President’s] in part, and none of the vice presidents has previously claimed the right to refuse appropriately formatted certificates, ”Vladeck told CNN.
Even Jay Sekulow, the president’s long-term lawyer, said Pence has no legal authority to bring about such an outcome.
“Some have speculated that the Vice President may simply say, ‘I will not accept these voters,’ that he has the authority of the Constitution. I don’t really think the Constitution meant that. If that were the case, any Vice President could reject any election.” Sekulow said on the radio show of the week, adding that Pence’s role is “more of a ministerial procedural function.