President Donald Trump hit out at Vice President Mike Pence — the incumbent's most loyal supporter — for refusing to reject President-elect Joe Biden's election win. Pence issued a lengthy statement on Wednesday saying the US. Constitution did not give him the authority to reject presidential elections.
Trump lashed out at Pence on Twitter saying the Vice President did not have the "courage" do to what was needed to be done to "protect" the U.S. and the Constitution. For over a month, Pence faced the outgoing President's intense pressure over his role in certifying the Electoral College votes.
"Mike Pence didn't have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify," Trump wrote in a tweet. "USA demands the truth!"
Ahead of presiding over Congress, Pence issued a statement saying he will perform his duty to certify the electoral votes. He also explained that he did not have constitutional powers to discard the votes.
"Given the controversy surrounding this year's election, some approach this year's quadrennial tradition with great expectation, and other with dismissive disdain," Pence said in the three-page long statement. "It is my considered judgement that my oath to support and defend the Constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not."
The Constitution did not grant unilateral power to a vice president over the certification of the electoral votes. Even though his role in Wednesday's congressional meeting will be largely ceremonial, Trump expected Pence to wield his authority to overturn the votes in few battleground states.
Trump addressed a rally the Ellipse, south of the White House, before the congressional meeting and Pence's statement. He told his supporters that the Vice President should come to their rescue.
"If Mike Pence does the right thing we win the election All Vice President Pence has to do is send it back to the states to recertify and we become president and you are the happiest people," Trump said. "Mike Pence is going to have to come through for us and if he doesn't, it's a sad day for our country."