Social media was abuzz with a viral claim that Vice President Mike Pence had the constitutional power to reject the results of this year's presidential election. The rumor found its way on Twitter as Pence was set to preside a congressional session on Jan. 6 to tally the Electoral College votes.
The widely circulated claim stated that the vice president had the "power" to "reject the electors from the contested states." It was based on a provision of the U.S. legal code on the "Failure of certificates of electors to reach the President of the Senate."
According to the provision, the vice president should request a certificate of votes from the secretary of state of a particular state that failed to deliver the certificate. The secretary of state will be required to the certificate of votes "by the most expeditious method available." The provision did not give the vice president the power to reject the election result as claimed by the post, fact-checking website Snopes explained.
Mike Pence Caught Between President Trump and Duty
Vice President Pence's role in the upcoming congressional meeting has also concerned President Donald Trump, according to a report. The President was reportedly concerned that Pence was not "fighting hard enough" for him and would rather validate the election result.
A source told Axios that Trump was particularly affected after a Lincoln Project advertisement claimed the vice president was "backing away" from the President. Trump, according to the source, was of the opinion that Pence was "not fighting hard enough for him."
"Trump would view Pence performing his constitutional duty — and validating the election result — as the ultimate betrayal," the Axios report stated.
Trump was also reportedly upset with Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, White House counsel Pat Cipollone, Secretary of State Pompeo and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. He also expressed anger towards advisers who told him that the state legislatures cannot withdraw their electoral votes, the report added.