VP Pence refuses to decide 'presidential contests' and 'which electoral votes should be counted'

While Vice President Mike Pence will not "unilaterally" reject Electoral College votes, he will allow objections and evidence to be presented thus letting the elected representatives of the American people "make their decision."

"After careful study of our Constitution," Vice President Mike Pence has decided not to "unilaterally" decide to reject electors.

"Some believe that as Vice President, I should be able to accept or reject electoral votes unilaterally. Others believe that electoral votes should never be challenged in a Joint Session of Congress," wrote Pence in a statement.

"After a careful study of our Constitution, our laws, and our history, I believe neither view is correct."

Pence went on to stress that the presidency belongs to American citizens and that it is up to their elected officials to resolve election disputes, such as the allegations of election fraud present during the 2020 US election.

"The President is the chief executive officer of the Federal Government under our Constitution, possessing immense power to impact the lives of the American people," Pense wrote. "The Presidency belongs to the American people, and to them alone. When disputes concerning a presidential election arise, under Federal law, it is the people’s representatives who review the evidence and resolve disputes through a democratic process."

The Vice President stated that the Founding Fathers would not have intended to give his position such power.

"Vesting the Vice President with unilateral authority to decide presidential contests would be entirely antithetical to that design. As a student of history who loves the Constitution and reveres its Framers, I do not believe that the Founders of our country intended to invest the Vice President with unilateral authority to decide which electoral votes should be counted during the Joint Session of Congress, and no Vice President in American history has ever asserted such authority."

Pence added, "It is my considered judgment 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."

But the Vice President welcomed hearing members of Congress as they object and raise evidence during the joint session.

"Given the voting irregularities that took place in our November elections and the disregard of state election statutes by some officials, I welcome the efforts of Senate and House members who have stepped forward to use their authority under the law to raise objections and present evidence," wrote Pence.

"As presiding officer, I will ensure that any objections that are sponsored by both a Representative and a Senator are given proper consideration, and that all facts supporting those objections are brought before the Congress and the American people."

Pence continued: "Today it will be my duty to preside when the Congress convenes in Joint Session to count the votes of the Electoral College, and I will do so to the best of my ability. I ask only that Representatives and Senators who will assemble before me approach this moment with the same sense of duty and an open mind, setting politics and personal interests aside, and do our part to faithfully discharge our duties under the Constitution. I also pray that we will do so with humility and faith, remembering the words of John Quincy Adams, who said, “Duty is ours; results are God’s.”

President Donald Trump responded on Twitter criticizing Pence:

"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. USA demands the truth!" tweeted Trump.

You can read Pence's full statement here.

Arizona Electoral College votes have already been objected to by members of Congress.

Paul Gosar (R-Az.) objected to the certification of Arizona's electoral votes on the grounds that "they were no under all of the known circumstances regularly given."

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx.) seconded the objection.

Vice President Mike Pence sends the Senate into their chambers for a 2-hour debate.

Watch the congressional joint session LIVE:

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