Former President Donald Trump blasted a bipartisan effort to strengthen the Electoral Count Act, saying that it was proof that former Vice President Mike Pence had the authority to overturn the results of the election.
“If the Vice President (Mike Pence) had ‘absolutely no right’ to change the Presidential election results in the Senate, despite fraud and many other irregularities, how come the Democrats and RINO Republicans, like Wacky Susan Collins, are desperately trying to pass legislation that will not allow the Vice President to change the results of the election?” Trump said in a statement.
“Actually, what they are saying, is that Mike Pence did have the right to change the outcome, and they now want to take that right away,” Trump said.
Trump’s statement comes after a bipartisan group of more than a dozen senators began meeting to discuss possible reforms to the 1887 law, which dictates how Congress counts and certifies Electoral College results.
Senators from both parties, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, have signaled support for reforming the law to safeguard further elections, and their comments came after Democrats in Congress unsuccessfully tried to pass federal voting legislation in response to election overhaul bills that Republicans passed in multiple states.
Trump’s statement is not the first time that he has asserted that Pence had the authority to change the election results as he presided over Congress’ certification. John Eastman, one of Trump’s lawyers, presented a memo to Trump and Pence last year articulating Trump’s claims, urging the then-vice president to reject electors from specific states.
Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, one of the two Republican lawmakers on the Jan. 6 select committee, said that Trump’s statement was evidence that he would “do it all again if given the chance,” referring to his effort to reverse President Joe Biden’s victory. Cheney was joined by Republican Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who said that GOP lawmakers must “pick a side… Trump or the Constitution.”
“There is no middle ground on defending our nation anymore,” Kinzinger said.
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