On Thursday, April 27, 2023, Democrats waited breathlessly for what they knew would be the final (or only) piece of evidence in the January 6th “investigation.” Former vice president Mike Pence would be taking the stand.
In a shocking serving of nothing burgers, Pence’s testimony did not give Democrats the smoking gun they were hoping for to hold former president Donald Trump accountable for the January 6th incident.
Instead, they listened to more than seven hours of testimony regarding several Pence vs. Trump discussions over Pence’s ability or willingness to block the certification process.
The discussion was heated, the discussion was probably unpleasant, and Trump did in fact call Pence a coward along with several other unflattering terms.
But the grand jury could have saved themselves seven hours and read Pence’s memoir, “So Help Me God.”
Proof that nothing juicy came from the testimony is in the lack of coverage of the substance of the content. Had anything come to light, it would have been splashed over the front pages after an “accidental leak.”
In “So Help Me God,” Pence acknowledges that there were issues with the 2020 election. In his own words, he writes his response to Trump: “Mr. President, I don’t question there were irregularities and fraud. It’s just a question of who decides, and under the law that is Congress.”
In his own words, Pence had the ammunition and levels of doubt that he needed to raise objections during the certification process. He refused.
If the Grand Jury was expecting that Pence would reveal a detailed plan of January 6, masterminded by Trump himself, chances are they were sorely disappointed. The silence speaks volumes about the lack of “evidence” uncovered during Pence’s testimony. In fact, Pence and Trump did not communicate at all while the events of that day were unfolding.
The news coverage from the left is simply rehashing old news regarding Pence and Trump’s communications following the elections. There is nothing new to report, Pence didn’t magically produce damning evidence against Trump, and at the end of the day, the meat of these discussions was nothing more than disagreements between two people who dislike each other.
Trump’s claim that Pence could have delayed certification is not entirely without merit. It is based on the Electoral Count Act of 1887.
The Electoral Count Act is a federal law passed by the United States Congress that provides procedures for the counting of electoral votes in presidential elections. The law specifies the process for how Congress should count and certify the electoral votes submitted by each state and the District of Columbia, and it sets out the procedures for resolving disputes over contested electoral votes.
Under the Electoral Count Act, the President of the Senate, who is the Vice President of the United States, presides over the joint session of Congress where the electoral votes are counted. The law also establishes a process for objections to electoral votes, which must be submitted in writing and signed by at least one member of the House of Representatives and one member of the Senate. If an objection is sustained by both chambers of Congress, the electoral votes in question may be excluded from the final count.
If there are objections to the electoral votes, the Vice President, as the presiding officer, must follow the procedures outlined in the Electoral Count Act. The objections must be submitted in writing and signed by at least one member of the House of Representatives and one member of the Senate. The Vice President then calls for the objection to be sustained or overruled by both chambers of Congress.
In short, the Vice President’s role under the Electoral Count Act is largely ceremonial and procedural, and they do not have the authority to unilaterally block the certification process. Any objections to the certification must be raised and resolved through the established procedures of the Act and require the agreement of both chambers of Congress to have an impact on the certification process.
Pence did not have the authority to “overturn election results,” but by his own admission, he had doubts as to their legitimacy and could have followed procedure to ensure that objections were considered.
While Pence’s testimony probably did not deliver Democrats the signed, sealed, and delivered evidence they needed to tie Trump to the events of January 6th, it did give the otherwise completely forgettable presidential hopeful a slight boost in relevancy, if only temporarily.
Meanwhile, Democrats will need to manufacture more “evidence” in an investigation the country has tired of or find another new crisis to distract Americans.
Hang on, America; it’s almost time for another pandemic.