Despite growing pressure from President Trump to help overturn his election loss, Vice President Mike Pence plans to stick to his ceremonial duties when presiding in Congress on Wednesday, advisers said. Pence plans to make clear in his statements that he backs the president but will stick to the constraints of his role, a former White House official with regular contact with Pence’s team told Reuters.
“He will be very supportive of the president, but again he’ll stick to the Constitution,” the former adviser said. “It is a ceremonial role. It is opening up envelopes and reading the contents of it,” he said. “That’s it. This is a ceremonial … position.” Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, told Reuters that the vice president “will uphold the Constitution and follow the statutory law.”
Despite pressure from Trump, Pence won’t interfere in election count Wednesday: advisers https://t.co/iWvje5zUOg
— Jeff Mason (@jeffmason1) January 5, 2021
The Vice President has the power to reject fraudulently chosen electors.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 5, 2021
UPDATE from the New York Times:
Vice President Mike Pence told President Trump on Tuesday that he did not believe he had the power to block congressional certification of Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory in the presidential election despite Mr. Trump’s baseless insistence that he did, people briefed on the conversation said.
Mr. Pence’s message, delivered during his weekly lunch with the president, came hours after Mr. Trump further turned up the public pressure on the vice president to do his bidding when Congress convenes Wednesday in a joint session to ratify Mr. Biden’s Electoral College win.