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Trump Counting on Pence Intervention in Electoral College Battle, but Sekulow Says VP Has Limited Authority

01-06-2021
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Vice President Mike Pence. (Image credit: CBN News)
Vice President Mike Pence. (Image credit: CBN News)

What is normally a formality in every presidential election is taking on new significance in President Trump's quest to hold onto the White House.

The US Constitution calls on Congress, which is overseen by the Vice President, to count and certify the Electoral College votes, officially proclaiming the winner of the election.

It is a ceremony that usually takes less than an hour.

In 2017, then-Vice President Joe Biden performed the duty.

This year it could go well into the evening as GOP lawmakers in the House and Senate plan to object to some of the Electoral College votes, triggering hours of debate and votes on each objection.

"They go back to the House, they go back to the Senate and they debate whether or not that objection should be sustained or overruled," said Hans Von Spakovsky of the Heritage Foundation.

While this is a historic day, it is not unprecedented since major challenges and electoral disputes go back far into the 1800s.

Even in the past three elections when Republicans won the White House, Democrats offered similar challenges to the Electoral College in Congress. In fact, one case saw a Democrat senator joining House Democrats in an attempt to overturn electors in the state of Ohio when Bush won in 2004.

This time, Joe Biden has been declared president-elect with an Electoral College victory of 306 to Trump's 232. 

All eyes are now on Vice President Mike Pence. President Trump claims he has the power to reject electors.

"I hope Mike Pence comes through for us, I have to tell you," Trump said at a recent rally in Georgia ahead of that state's runoff elections.

Tuesday the New York Times reported that Pence told the President he lacks authority to block the congressional certification, but the President is denying Pence said that.

Still, many legal experts agree that Pence doesn't have the authority to overturn the election.
 
"I actually don't think that's what the Constitution has in mind," said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of The American Center for Law and Justice who has also served as an attorney for President Trump. "If that were the case, any vice president could reject any election."

Not only is the protest dividing the two parties, but it's also dividing the GOP.

More than a dozen Republican senators, led by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, along with as many as 140 House Republicans, are taking part in the challenge.

But Politico reports that at least 24 Republican Senators are on record that they'll vote to certify Biden's win, and another 14 have not taken a public stance. 

As all of this is going on, thousands of Christians will be marching and praying in the nation's capital, saying the concerns of religious believers over this election should not be ignored.

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