Eighteen Senate Republicans joined Democrats to pass an update to the Electoral Count Act which would clarify that vice presidents can’t overturn presidential elections.
Former President Donald Trump pressured then-Vice President Mike Pence to do just that January 6, 2021. Trump wanted Pence to refuse the congressional certification of then-President-Elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College votes, throwing the usual peaceful handover of executive power into conflict.
“The Electoral Count Act, that statute needed to be fixed and clarified,” Senate Republican Whip John Thune (S.D.) said. His comment referred to the 1887 law. which Trump cited to argue that Pence could refuse to Biden’s victory.
“A couple years ago there were a lot of questions raised about it. There wasn’t any question in my mind about what it said but since there are [questions], I think it’s important to nail that down,” Thune said.
The Congressional January 6 committee’s 845-page final report said that Trump asked Pence, other Republican Congress members, and state election officials to falsely claim that an unprecedented conspiracy of nationwide voter fraud “stole” the 2020 presidential election from Trump.
When Congress met to certify the election, Trump held a “Stop the Steal” rally in which he repeated his false fraud claims, and urged his followers to “fight like hell” to keep their Democracy.
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