Pence statements prior to Jan. 6 undercut his claims on election integrity, constitutional duty
Pence has repeatedly maintained he lacked the constitutional authority to send the elections results back to the contested states for review and insisted he saw no evidence of voter fraud swaying the outcome of the 2020 election.
Special Counsel Jack Smith's most recent indictment of former President Donald Trump repeatedly referenced former Vice President Mike Pence objecting to Trump's efforts to overturn the election and insisting that the vice president had no authority to halt the electoral certification process.
Pence has repeatedly maintained he lacked the constitutional authority to send the elections results back to the contested states for review and insisted he saw no evidence of voter fraud swaying the outcome of the 2020 election, a point Smith notes early in the indictment.
The former vice president's own words prior to the events of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot, however, seem to contradict his post-vice-presidency narrative.
Video footage from a public address less than one week prior to the electoral certification on Jan. 6, 2021 shows Pence expressing concerns about election irregularities in the contest and vows to hear the objections of his supporters during the certification process, seemingly suggesting he held a belief in his authority to do so.
"I know we all got doubts about the election. I share the concerns of millions of Americans about voting irregularities," he told supporters on Jan. 4. "I promise you this Wednesday. We'll have our day in Congress. We'll hear the objections. We'll hear the evidence."
Mike Pence Jan 4, 2021: "I know we all got doubts about the election. I share the concerns of millions of Americans about voting irregularities. I promise you this Wed. We'll have our day in Congress. We'll hear the objections. We'll hear the evidence."https://t.co/YlhKf4LVoq pic.twitter.com/MPJqCRWnfq
— KanekoaTheGreat (@KanekoaTheGreat) August 2, 2023
Pence made the remarks during a rally to support then-GOP Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue in the Georgia runoff elections.
Smith's indictment includes six other co-conspirators with whom Trump allegedly conspired to unlawfully overturn the election. One of those individuals, he alleges, put forward plans outlining the theory that Pence could deem the elector slates from seven disputed states invalid.
"The Defendant's Vice President-who personally stood to gain by remaining in office as part of the Defendant's ticket and whom the Defendant asked to study fraud allegations-told the Defendant that he had seen no evidence of outcome-determinative fraud," the indictment states.
Pence on Monday blamed Trump's efforts on a gaggle of "crackpot lawyers" for telling Trump "what his itching ears wanted to hear."
"You know, I’m a student of American history. And the first time I heard in early December somebody suggest that as vice president I might be able to decide which votes to reject and which to accept. I knew that it was false... I dismissed it out of hand," he said.
Just the News sought comment from the Pence campaign but did not receive a response prior to publication time.
Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on Twitter.