Minutes before he undertook to preside at the joint session of Congress convened to tabulate the Electoral College results yesterday Vice President Pence released a three-page letter explaining his understanding of his “largely ceremonial” responsibilities. I have embedded a copy of the letter below.
Speaking at the “Stop the Steal” rally yesterday, President Trump urged Pence to reject the Electoral College results. “Mike Pence,” he said, “I hope you get to stand up for the good of our Constitution and for the good of our country, and if you’re not, I’m going to be very disappointed in you.” I think it’s fair to say that Trump’s purported understanding of the Vice President’s responsibilities in the certification proceedings is erroneous.
A few minutes after it was reported Pence had been escorted off the Senate floor in connection with the assault on the Capitol, Trump tweeted his disappointment: “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!” The condemnation of Pence was misguided at best.
In a bizarre footnote to a shameful day, it is reported that Pence chief of staff Marc Short had his White House pass revoked following release of the letter. Short told RealClearPolitics on Wednesday that Trump was “blaming me for advice to VP.”