Trump voters hoping to get Vice President Mike Pence involved in the attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election are going to have to look elsewhere. The Department of Justice issued a request on Pence’s behalf to ask a judge to stop a lawsuit filed by pro-Trump Republicans who were hoping it would empower him to stop Joe Biden from taking office.
The lawsuit was filed by Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert, along with a group of Trump supporters from Arizona. The suit aimed to expand Pence’s power as the president of the U.S. Senate. The vice president is set to preside over the joint session of Congress on Jan. 6, when lawmakers certify the results of the presidential election. The joint session is typically nothing more than a formality to confirm voters’ and the Electoral College vote, but this year may be a little more involved.
The lawsuit asked a judge to tell Pence that he could unilaterally reject the results from individual states himself, thus setting the stage for Pence to reject results from states that supported Biden and accept results from states supporting Trump.
Pence clearly wants no part of this scenario.
The Department of Justice called the lawsuit a “legal contradiction” and said it never should have been filed in the first place. The DOJ basically said that suing Pence to give him more powers didn’t make sense. The Justice Department also made it clear that they encouraged comments from the judge that would clarify that the vice president’s role in the election is purely procedural.
At this point at least 140 House Republicans have signaled their plans to vote against counting the Electoral College votes on Jan. 6.