US Vice President Mike Pence has told President Donald Trump he does not have the power to block congressional certification of Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 presidential election, the New York Times reported on Tuesday night, citing people briefed on the conversation.
The statement was reportedly made by Pence several hours before President Trump tweeted that the vice president has the power to reject "fraudulently chosen electors".
The Vice President has the power to reject fraudulently chosen electors.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 5, 2021
Pence is set to preside over the session to count the votes on Wednesday, as at least 140 members of the House of Representatives and 12 members of the Senate have said so far that they will object to the result and have demanded an independent commission to conduct a forensic audit in battleground states.
At a rally in Georgia, Trump said that there is "no way we lost Georgia", adding that the 3 November election was "rigged" by Democrats to put the former vice president ahead. He also hinted more information concerning alleged voter fraud could follow.
On Monday, the US president also warned close ally US Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AK) against the Electoral College certification, after the latter said he would not be joining efforts by other Republican lawmakers in challenging the outcome of the election.
How can you certify an election when the numbers being certified are verifiably WRONG. You will see the real numbers tonight during my speech, but especially on JANUARY 6th. @SenTomCotton Republicans have pluses & minuses, but one thing is sure, THEY NEVER FORGET!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 4, 2021
Since Trump attributes Biden's victory to massive fraud, he has repeatedly stated he will not concede until only legal votes are counted and the illegal ones are discounted. More than 60 legal cases that Trump and the Republican party filed to challenge the election results and acts of impropriety have been rejected by state and federal courts on procedural grounds.
The US President has been urging Pence to overturn the election results.