Mike Pence, the former vice president and current presidential candidate for 2024, has addressed allegations regarding the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election. He denies recollecting any form of pressure from then-President Trump to urge Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, a Republican, to seek evidence of voter fraud.
In response to a Washington Post report suggesting that Trump had pushed him to contact Ducey in an attempt to overturn the election results, Pence firmly stated that he did not recall any pressure during a CBS News interview aired on Sunday.
Pence did admit to making calls to several governors, including Ducey, who were in the process of reviewing their election results. However, he asserted that these calls were devoid of pressure and solely aimed at obtaining updates, which he would then relay to the president.
“I was calling to get an update. I passed along that information to the president, and, as I said, I think the record from that time confirms all of that,” Pence explained.
The former vice president, who also served as the governor of Indiana, provided some context for these interactions. He highlighted the uncertainty surrounding the election outcomes in states like Arizona and Georgia, which Trump had lost.
“States around the country were going through the legal process of engaging in a review under state law. I got updates on that, passed that along, and it was no more, no less than that,” Pence clarified.
Special Counsel Jack Smith is currently investigating the post-election activities of Trump and his allies, including efforts to challenge the 2020 election outcome. Pence appeared before a federal grand jury in April as part of this investigation.
Additionally, Trump’s conversations with Georgia officials regarding the state’s election results have attracted legal scrutiny, with Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis leading an investigation. Trump, who is already involved in other legal cases, vehemently denies any wrongdoing and dismisses these investigations as a “witch hunt.”
Reflecting on his own actions during this period, Pence emphasized his refusal to succumb to Trump’s pressure to reject election results from certain states in January 2021. This occurred while he presided over a joint session of Congress tasked with certifying Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election.
“The president expressed his strong belief that I had authority that I did not have under the Constitution in the closing days,” Pence stated.
Pence maintained that he acted in accordance with his constitutional duty while overseeing the joint session of Congress amidst the chaotic aftermath of the January 6th Capitol incident.
Throughout November and December 2020, Pence emphasized the importance of an “orderly process.” During this time, several states were conducting reviews of their election results, and numerous lawsuits were underway. Describing his conversations with governors, Pence portrayed himself as an information gatherer, stating, “We passed that information along and otherwise just focused on the work at hand.”
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