Donald Trump has exhausted virtually all of his legal options to overturn his loss to Joe Biden. In some cases, he has been figuratively laughed out of court. However, Trump and his diehards, like the narcissists that they are, are still persisting with their coup attempt. They’ve pinned their hopes on an eleventh-hour gambit when Congress formally meets to certify the results of the Electoral College’s vote on January 6.
Normally, this is a relatively undramatic affair. Per the 12th Amendment to the Constitution and the Electoral Count Act of 1887, the House and Senate meet in joint session to count the electoral votes from each state. The vice president usually presides over this session in his constitutional capacity as president of the Senate.
The vice president opens sealed certificates containing the certified votes of each state’s electors. He then hands them to “tellers”–two appointed from each party from among the Senators and Congressmen–to read in alphabetical order. Once the votes are counted, the vice president then announces the results.
A number of Trump diehards believe that the vice president has the right to unilaterally accept or reject these certificates. With this in mind, they have pushed for the incumbent, Mike Pence, to reject the votes from Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin–all of which went to Biden by razor-thin margins. Supposedly, Pence could then certify the votes from slates of pro-Trump “alternate electors”–which would theoretically be enough to give Trump another term.
Among those diehards is attorney Lin Wood, whom you may know as one of the legal minds behind Trump’s legal windmill-tilting expedition. He believes that Biden only won his home state of Georgia because “devils” in the GOP like Governor Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger dared to certify Biden’s win rather than listen to the demands of their lord and master, Trump.
So let’s see if we’ve got this right. If you certify that a Democrat flipped a historically red state, and did so for the first time since 1992, you’re a devil? Oh, the horror! But then again, we’re talking about a guy who would have us believe that Trump won a second term in a landslide. No, this isn’t snark. He actually said this to Mark Levin; listen here.
Wood claimed that Trump won over 70 percent of the popular vote, outdoing even FDR, LBJ, Nixon and Reagan’s best performances. In his world, because those “devils” in Georgia and elsewhere dared to certify Biden’s win, Trump got robbed.
So like the rest of Trumpworld, Wood is pinning his hopes on Pence. On Tuesday, Wood appealed to Pence’s Christian sensibilities.
Well, that’s interesting. Is Wood finally acknowledging that Biden won? After all, he is asking Pence to make sure that he doesn’t “certify a lie” on January 6. Numerous recounts, as well as opinions from judges across the spectrum, have confirmed this.
Moreover, even if Pence wanted to intervene on behalf of Trump, he wouldn’t be able to do so legally. Clerks count the votes, and he merely reports back the results aloud. If Pence were to recognize the “alternate elector” slates, it would bring an instant challenge from Democrats. Both chambers would then go into separate session to debate the disputed slates.
However, the “alternate electors” would almost certainly be rejected in favor of the certified slates. The Democrats control the House, and there aren’t enough Republicans in the Senate willing to go along with this coup attempt. When all is said and done, Pence will likely be in the same position that Biden was in four years ago–an incumbent vice president formally announcing that his party’s standardbearer has been defeated.
Pence himself seems cool toward this last-ditch attempt to steal another term for Trump. He indicated that he isn’t willing to go along with a plan engineered by Congressman Louie Gohmert of Texas that would give Pence sole authority to certify which electors get counted. Gohmert revealed that he and the Arizona “alternate electors” only sued when it was apparent that Pence didn’t want to sign on to their plan.
Are you happy now, Lin? It looks like Pence is just doing what you wanted–refusing to certify a lie.
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