Trump Calls on Americans to Help Ensure Peaceful Transition: ‘NO Violence’ and ‘NO Lawbreaking’

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters on the South Lawn of the White House before boarding Marine One, in Washington on Jan. 12, 2021. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Wednesday called on all Americans to not engage in any violent demonstrations, vandalism, or lawbreaking ahead of the Jan. 20 inauguration.

“In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking, and NO vandalism of any kind,” Trump said. “That is not what I stand for and it is not what America stands for. I call on ALL Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers. Thank You.”

The Epoch Times reached out to the White House for comment. Trump’s statement will go out as an email from the White House press office and the White House will post the statement through the president’s social media accounts. The report also cited an advisor as saying that the president wants Big Tech companies to assist in disseminating his message of non-violence.

It came after the president was suspended from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and other tech platforms.

Other Republicans and Trump surrogates have called for no violence following the U.S. Capitol breach.

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel stated Wednesday that “violence has no place in our politics. Period.”

“I wholly condemned last week’s senseless acts of violence, and I strongly reiterate the calls to remain peaceful in the weeks ahead,” McDaniel remarked. “Those who partook in the assault on our nation’s Capitol and those who continue to threaten violence should be found, held accountable, and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

She added: “Let me be clear: Anyone who has malicious intent is not welcome in Washington, D.C. or in any other state capitol. The peaceful transition of power is one of our nation’s founding principles and is necessary for our country to move forward.”

The breach occurred during the Jan. 6 Joint Session of Congress as members were counting to certify the results of the Nov. 3 election. Critics have said Trump incited violence with his rhetoric during a speech to supporters, leading to House Democrats introducing articles of impeachment this week. A vote on impeachment is scheduled for later this week, although it’s unclear when the Senate might take it up.

McDaniel noted that “now is the time to come together as one nation, united in the peaceful pursuit of our common democratic purpose.”

Trump attorney Jenna Ellis said that “it is possible (and correct) to support election integrity, the Constitution, and free speech and also condemn violence,” adding: “We are a nation under the rule of law.”

Ellis remarked that some leftists and media outlets are attempting to create a narrative that the Trump team’s support for election integrity is supporting “violence” against and “disdain for the Constitution.”

“Some on the right are trying to build a false narrative that support for the Constitution is condemning election integrity,” Ellis remarked.

Source: Trump Calls on Americans to Help Ensure Peaceful Transition: ‘NO Violence’ and ‘NO Lawbreaking’

Report says FBI warned of plans for ‘war’ at Capitol

President Donald Trump speaks to the media before boarding Air Force One, at Andrews Air Force ...
President Donald Trump speaks to the media before boarding Air Force One, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The president is traveling to Texas. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The Associated Press

January 12, 2021 – 10:43 am

According to a report in The Washington Post, the FBI had warned that extremists were preparing to come to Washington, attack Congress and engage in “war.”

The report says the warning was issued internally by the FBI’s field office in Norfolk, Virginia, a day before the violent riot at the U.S. Capitol.

The warning directly contradicts statements from the Justice Department and FBI officials that they had no intelligence to suggest a storming of the Capitol.

The Post says the memo described how people had been sharing maps of the Capitol’s tunnels and discussing rallying points to meet up to travel to Washington. The newspaper reported that the document detailed posts calling for violence, including that “Congress needs to hear glass breaking, doors being kicked in, and blood from their BLM and Antifa slave soldiers being spilled.”

It also said to “go there ready for war.”

The Associated Press has not obtained the document. The FBI did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Charged & uncharged

The U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia has brought federal charges against about 20 people so far, while 40 others have been charged in D.C.’s Superior Court. The people charged in Superior Court are mainly accused of things like curfew violations and gun crimes. Those being tried in federal court, where prosecutors can generally secure longer sentences, are charged with offences such as violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, assaulting a federal law enforcement officer and threatening House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

On Sunday, federal authorities arrested two men who were photographed with plastic restraints inside the Capitol. Investigators said they used social media and livestream videos to identify Eric Munchel of Tennessee as the masked person seen in photos shared widely over social media carrying plastic hand restraints in the Senate chamber.

Retired Lt. Col. Larry Rendall Brock Jr. of Texas was photographed on the Senate floor carrying zip-tie handcuffs and wearing a military-style helmet and vest, authorities said. Brock’s ex-wife helped authorities identify him, according to court documents. He confirmed to The New Yorker that he was the man in the photographs and claimed he found the zip-tie handcuffs on the floor. “I wish I had not picked those up,” he said.

Authorities are working to identify more suspects and more charges are expected.

Many people were allowed to leave the Capitol freely the day of the attack, so investigators have to sort through a sea of photos, video, social media posts and tips from the public to see who was there and track them down.

Federal prosecutors across the U.S. have also said people could face charges in their home states if they traveled to Washington and took part in the assault.

Latest developments: 2:35 p.m. EST

Vice President Mike Pence has told governors on a call about the coronavirus that “our time” is coming to an end and a “new administration” is taking over.

Pence said Tuesday that the administration is in the middle of the transition and is working “diligently” with President-elect Joe Biden’s team. He thanked the governors for their leadership on the coronavirus and promised them a “seamless transition.”

He says the objective “is that there is no interruption in our continuous efforts to put the health of the American people first.”

Pence’s comments come as the U.S. House moves forward toward impeachment or other steps to forcibly remove Trump from office after a mob of his supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol last week to stop Congress from affirming Biden’s victory. Trump has falsely claimed widespread voter fraud cost him the election

1:30 p.m.

Within a span of about 24 hours, three House Democrats have announced they tested positive for COVID-19, prompting concern that last week’s insurrection at the Capitol has also turned into a super-spreader event threatening the health of lawmakers and their staffs.

Those who have tested positive were among the dozens of lawmakers whisked to a secure location when pro-Trump insurrectionists stormed the Capitol on Wednesday. Some members of Congress huddled for hours in the large room, while others were there for a shorter period.

While it’s not certain where and when lawmakers caught the illness, the Capitol’s attending physician notified all House lawmakers of possible virus exposure and urged them to be tested. Dr. Brian Moynihan said that members who were in protective isolation last Wednesday “may have been exposed to another occupant with coronavirus infection.”

The three Democratic lawmakers directed their anger toward some House Republicans who were also in the secure room and declined opportunities to wear a mask, despite their role in blocking the spread of COVID-19. Video surfaced of multiple Republican lawmakers refusing to wear a face mask even when they were offered one.

1:10 p.m.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said the violence at the Capitol shows the need for the Senate to swiftly confirm Joe Biden’s national security team on the first day of his administration.

Schumer said in a letter to colleagues that the deadly Capitol riot by a mob loyal to President Donald Trump last week was “one of the darkest days in all of American history.”

He said Biden will need “key national security positions on Day One.”

The Senate often confirms some nominees on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, but this year the Senate will also likely be convening Trump’s impeachment trial. The House is set to impeach Trump this week on a sole charge of inciting insurrection in the violent riot.

Schumer wants the chamber to swiftly take up those nominees for secretary of defense, secretary of homeland security, secretary of state, attorney general, and others.

Schumer outlined the party’s agenda, vowing to push ahead on Democratic priorities.

11:50 a.m.

A total of 15,000 National Guard members have now been activated and will deploy to Washington, D.C., to help provide security in the run up to the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

The number of Guard members coming in from other states has been growing, amid escalating fears of more violent protests in the wake of the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol last week.

Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, was given the authority to tap up to 15,000 Guard, but he has said that requests for assistance from the Secret Service, the U.S. Park Police and the Capitol Police have been increasing this week.

The Army also said Tuesday that officials are working with the Secret Service to determine which Guard members may need additional background screening. Rep. Jason Crow, D-Co., had asked Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy to have the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command screen Guard members coming in to ensure they were not “sympathetic to domestic terrorists.”

The Army said CID will not be reviewing all the Guard, but some members may be subject to additional background screening. Traditionally, those who get within close proximity to the president — or in this case the president-elect — are checked more closely.

So far, officials said they have not yet identified any Guard members who participated in the protests, but investigations are ongoing.

In a statement, the Army said the D.C. National Guard is also giving troops additional training as they arrive in the city, so they know to identify and report any extremist behavior to their commanders.

The Army also said it is working with the FBI to identify people who participated in Capitol attack, adding, “any type of activity that involves violence, civil disobedience, or a breach of peace may be punishable under the Uniform Code of Military Justice or under state or federal law.”

11:15 a.m.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer is calling on the FBI to add anyone identified breaching the Capitol during last week’s violent riot to the federal no-fly list.

Schumer sent a letter Tuesday to FBI Director Christopher Wray, saying the attack on the Capitol as Congress was voting to affirm President-elect Joe Biden’s win was “domestic terrorism.” He said those who stormed the Capitol should qualify as “insurrectionists for the No-Fly List.”

Schumer told Wray that they must also be fully prosecuted to the full extent of federal law. The letter was obtained by The Associated Press.

The federal no-fly list is part of the U.S. government’s Terrorist Screening Database and prohibits anyone who “may pose a threat to civil aviation or national security” from boarding a commercial aircraft. Generally, in order to be placed on the list, the government must have information that the person presents “a threat of committing terrorism” to the aircraft or the U.S. homeland or U.S. facilities.

The no-fly list is one of the government’s most controversial post-Sept. 11 counterterrorism programs.

10:55 a.m.

President Donald Trump is taking no responsibility for his role in fomenting a violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last week.

A Capitol police officer died from injuries suffered in the riot, and police shot a woman during the violence. Three others died in what authorities said were medical emergencies.

Speaking to reporters before traveling to Texas on Tuesday, Trump says his remarks to supporters last week were “totally appropriate.”

Minutes before his supporters stormed the Capitol, Trump encouraged them to march on the seat of the nation’s government where lawmakers were tallying Electoral College votes affirming President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. Trump, for months, had also spread baseless claims that the November election was fraudulent, despite his own administration’s findings to the contrary.

As rioters were still in the Capitol, Trump released a video seemingly excusing the events, saying of the rioters: “We love you. You’re very special.”

10:30 a.m.

President Donald Trump told reporters Tuesday at the White House that the prospect of impeachment is causing “tremendous anger” in the nation. But he said he wants “no violence.”

The president spoke as he left for Texas to survey the border wall with Mexico. His remarks were his first to reporters since the Capitol attack.

On impeachment, Trump said it’s “a really terrible thing that they’re doing.” But he said, “We want no violence. Never violence.”

Source: Report says FBI warned of plans for ‘war’ at Capitol

Trump to Visit US-Mexico Border to Highlight Border Wall Progress

President Donald Trump looks on before signing a plaque as he participates in a ceremony commemorating the 200th mile of border wall at the international border with Mexico in San Luis, Ariz., on June 23, 2020. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

President Donald Trump is expected to travel to the U.S.-Mexico border on Tuesday to highlight his administration’s work on the border wall, the White House said Saturday.

Trump will travel to the town of Alamo, Texas. He will mark the completion of 400 miles of border wall and his administration’s efforts to reform what the White House described as the nation’s broken immigration system.

The border wall was one of Trump’s signature campaign promises in 2016, with the president hailing the measure as one that would both curb the inflow of illegal immigrants and cut down on crime.

President-elect Joe Biden had vowed to halt border wall construction.

Epoch Times Photo
People work on the U.S.-Mexico border wall in El Paso, Texas, on Feb. 12, 2019. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

While most of the wall went up in areas that had smaller barriers, the Trump administration has built hundreds of miles of fencing as high as 30 feet in a short amount of time—most of it last year.

Border Patrol officials said the new fencing, much of which has replaced much smaller vehicle barriers, provides more deterrence against human smugglers and people trying to elude capture.

“We are shutting down illegal border crossing points with the new border wall system,” said U.S. Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott last year. “For too long, the smugglers had the upper hand in choosing where and when they smuggle their contraband, and that will no longer be the case.”

Source: Trump to Visit US-Mexico Border to Highlight Border Wall Progress

Parler CEO ‘Prepared to Take Full Legal Action’ After Big Tech Companies Target Platform

Parler founder and CEO John Matze speaks to The Epoch Times' American Thought Leaders in 2019. (Screenshot/The Epoch Times)

Parler founder and CEO John Matze said his company is “prepared to take full legal action” after several big tech companies suspended the social media network from their services, according to an email.

John Matze, Parler’s founder, told The Epoch Times in an email that he believes Apple, Google, and Amazon had acted in bad faith and that the social media platform is considering legal action.

Responding to accusations that Parler was enabling “threats of violence and illegal activity,” Matze said these companies are using recent events to “go after Parler,” even though “there is no evidence Parler was used to coordinate the events.”

“Parler has no groups-style feature and Facebook was the number one tool for coordinating meetups for that event,” Matze said.

The targeted moderation by these companies against Parler came after civil unrest and acts of violence marred a largely peaceful protest at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. A group of rioters and a minority of protesters waving American and Trump flags illegally stormed the Capitol building as lawmakers were counting electoral votes in a joint session of Congress. The mayhem on the day left five people dead, including one police office, and dozens of officers injured.

In response to the Capitol breach, a number of Silicon Valley technology companies ramped up their policing of statements and comments from President Donald Trump, conservatives, and other voices they believe may cause harm. Twitter on Friday permanently removed Trump’s account on its platform and justified its censorship by saying that the president had violated its “Glorification of Violence Policy” after he posted a message urging protesters to remain peaceful and leave the Capitol. The Trump campaign Twitter account has also been removed.

Parler, which has attracted a large following of classical liberal and conservative-leaning users, appeared to have been targeted for lacking a system to “implement robust moderation for egregious content.”

Apple said in a statement to media outlets on Saturday that they believe Paler had “not taken adequate measures to address” the proliferation of “threats of violence and illegal activity.”

“We have suspended Parler from the App Store until they resolve these issues,” the statement said.

Apple did not respond to The Epoch Times’ questions about the ban.

Similarly, Amazon told Parler that they would be shutting Parler’s servers at midnight Sunday, Jan. 10, over what it says is the platform’s alleged lax approach to violent content posted by its users. Parler disputes this claim.

Amazon also did not immediately respond to The Epoch Times’ questions about their suspension.

Matze said he believes these companies are also operating with a double standard.

“Twitter let ‘Hang Mike Pence’ trend the same day Parler was banned from Google … the double standard is obvious,” he said.

The big tech suspension came after Parler rose to become the number one application in Apple’s app store on Saturday, following Twitter’s suspension of Trump’s personal account. Matze said his social media network had around 20 million accounts at the time the companies suspended them.

Mobile app analytics company Sensor Tower told The Wrap in a statement that Parler saw approximately 182,000 first-time downloads in the United States on Jan. 8, which is up 355 percent on Jan. 7. The app saw about 268,000 installs across U.S. app stores since Jan. 6, the statement said.

Matze said on his Parler account late Saturday that he believes Amazon, Google, and Apple coordinated to “try and ensure they don’t have competition.”

“They will NOT win! We are the worlds last hope for free speech and free information,” he said.

“This is a battle against all of us. Liberals, conservatives, atheists, Christians, black, white, etc. They want to keep their monopoly over speech. They want us fighting. They don’t want us working together. They don’t want us working with each other, they want us hating one another.”

Unbalanced policing of user content and certain political views has raised concerns over First Amendment rights and the lack of checks and balances on decisions made by big tech companies. Discussions over limiting or eliminating liability protections under Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act for tech companies that have engaged in censoring or political conduct have been heavily discussed in the past year.

Twitter’s move to remove Trump’s account has received widespread scrutiny. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, State Secretary Mike Pompeo, and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley likened Twitter’s move to conduct by the communist party ruling China.

Source: Parler CEO ‘Prepared to Take Full Legal Action’ After Big Tech Companies Target Platform

Twitter Locks President Trump Out of His Account for the First Time

President Donald Trump calls on protesters near the U.S. Capitol building during the Joint Session of Congress in Washington to go home, on Jan. 6, 2020. (Donald Trump)

Twitter has disabled the account of President Donald Trump after deleting recent posts made by the president, including a video of him calling on protesters who had gathered on Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol building in Washington to go home in peace.

“As a result of the unprecedented and ongoing violent situation in Washington, D.C., we have required the removal of three @realDonaldTrump Tweets that were posted earlier today for repeated and severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy,” a Twitter announcement reads.

“This means that the account of @realDonaldTrump will be locked for 12 hours following the removal of these Tweets. If the Tweets are not removed, the account will remain locked,” the announcement continues. “Future violations of the Twitter Rules, including our Civic Integrity or Violent Threats policies, will result in permanent suspension of the @realDonaldTrump account.”

Both Facebook and Twitter have removed a video of the president calling on protesters to go home. “You have to go home now. We have to have peace. We have to have law and order, we have to respect our great people in law and order,” Trump said in the deleted video.

Facebook was first to remove the video, which was up for just a few hours on late Wednesday afternoon.

A Facebook spokesperson said in a statement to new outlets, “The violent protests in the Capitol today are a disgrace. We prohibit incitement and calls for violence on our platform. We are actively reviewing and removing any content that breaks these rules.”

Guy Rosen, Facebook’s vice president of integrity, said in a statement, “This is an emergency situation and we are taking appropriate emergency measures, including removing President Trump’s video. We removed it because on balance we believe it contributes to rather than diminishes the risk of ongoing violence.”

Trump had not called for violence in his speech.

Prior to the removal of the video, Facebook applied a label to the president’s video that linked to its “Voting information center,” which shows Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden as the winner of the November 2020 election. The Facebook label at the time read: “The US has laws, procedures, and established institutions to ensure the integrity of our elections. Get Accurate Election Info.”

The Epoch Times has yet to call the race.

Twitter removed the same video from its platform within an hour later of Facebook’s video removal, replacing the post with the message, “This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules,” and linked to the platform’s “enforcement options” page.

Twitter also removed a message from the president posted at 6:01 p.m. ET that read, “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!

“I know your pain, I know you’re hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election and everyone knows it, especially the other side,” the president said in the now-removed video.

“We don’t want anybody hurt. It’s a very tough period of time. There’s never been a time like this where such a thing happened where they could take it away from all of us—from me, from you, from our country,” he added.

“This was a fraudulent election but we can’t play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace. So go home, we love you, you’re very special. You’ve seen what happens, you’ve seen the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel. But go home, and go home in peace.”

The U.S. House and Senate temporarily halted the joint session of Congress on Wednesday after protesters breached the Capitol building, which interrupted concurrent debates in the two chambers over an objection to the counting of a slate of presidential electors from Arizona for Biden. The session has since resumed.

Source: Twitter Locks President Trump Out of His Account for the First Time

Raffensperger Being Referred to Secret Service for Investigation Under the Espionage Act – The GOP Times

After the audio of a phone call between President Trump and Brad Raffensperger was leaked to the media, the Georgia Secretary of State may be in serious trouble.

The one hour long phone call included White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, and several attorneys from both the Trump administration and Georgia. President Trump and his team spent the majority of the conversation discussing several serious allegations of fraud and irregularities in Georgia’s election, while Raffensperger and his allies tried to deny or ignore any evidence brought up in the call.

President Trump also insisted throughout the call that he won the state, and threatened vague legal consequences if actions were not taken to investigate the claims.

It has been alleged by multiple sources that Raffesperger’s team leaked the call to the left-wing news outlet Washington Post.

Within 24 hours of the call, the Washington post published a hit piece about the phone call, using edited and out-of-context clips to slander the president.

Since then, it has been announced by Georgia Republican Chairman David Shafer that President Trump and his team have filed two lawsuits against Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

“President [Donald Trump] has filed two lawsuits – federal and state – against [Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger]. The telephone conference call [Raffensperger] secretly recorded was a ‘confidential settlement discussion’ of that litigation, which is still pending,” Shafer’s first tweet read.

“The audio published by [The Washington Post] is heavily edited and omits the stipulation that all discussions were for the purpose of settling litigation and confidential under federal and state law,” Shafer’s second tweet said.

It seems that Raffensperger is in serious trouble.

The Gateway Pundit asks the important question about the Georgia Secretary of State: “Why is he so determined to defend the massive fraud in his state?”

Jack Posobiec reported on January 3 that the White House was “planning to refer Brad Raffensperger WaPo leak to Secret Service for investigation under national security grounds of the Espionage Act.”

Source: Raffensperger Being Referred to Secret Service for Investigation Under the Espionage Act – The GOP Times

Pence: Constitution ‘Constrains Me’ From Rejecting Electoral Votes

Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a White House Coronavirus Task Force press briefing in the James S. Brady Briefing Room of the White House on Nov. 19, 2020. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images)

Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday said that he doesn’t believe he has the “unilateral authority” to decide between competing slates of electors.

“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,” Pence said in a statement released just before a joint session of Congress began.

As president of the Senate, Pence is presiding over the session. The purpose of the session is to count electoral votes.

Under the Electoral College system, voters choose electors. Those electors then vote, almost always for the candidate that received the most ballots in their state. Congress meets in the January after an election to tally the votes.

Typically a rote affair, this session has taken on heightened significance after seven states sent two certificates to Washington, one for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and one for President Donald Trump. Biden won the states but Trump has said he was cheated.

Trump and some Republicans argue that Pence has the “exclusive authority” to reject electoral votes for Biden and choose the ones for Trump. A lawsuit asking a court to support that view was rejected by a district judge. An appeal was dismissed, though the plaintiffs earlier Wednesday asked the Supreme Court to intervene.

trump boards plane
President Donald Trump boards Air Force One while departing from Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Dec. 31, 2020. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images)

Trump has repeatedly called on Pence to act. If Pence “comes through for us, we will win the Presidency,” Trump asserted in a tweet early Wednesday. He also said his vice president could send electoral results back to state legislatures.

Pence, though, described his role as presiding officer as “largely ceremonial.”

But he noted that members of Congress can act by objecting to electoral votes. Over 100 Republicans plan to do so. They will contest at least three states, with the hope that a senator supports challenges to another three or four. Objections require signatures from a senator and a representative. They trigger a two-hour debate and a vote; a simple majority of each chamber would uphold an objection.

“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,” Pence said.

He said he’d make sure that objections that meet the requirements “are given proper consideration” and criticized people who have described objections as improper or undemocratic, accusing them of ignoring “more than 130 years of history” and pointing out that Democrats raised objections in Congress the last three times a Republican candidate for president prevailed.

Source: Pence: Constitution ‘Constrains Me’ From Rejecting Electoral Votes

Trump: Pence ‘Has the Power to Reject Fraudulently Chosen Electors’

Vice President Mike Pence speaks as U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump watch on election night in the East Room of the White House shortly after 2 a.m. in Washington, on Nov. 4, 2020. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump asserted on Tuesday that Vice President Mike Pence has the power to reject electors that were fraudulently chosen, echoing statements made by his legal team in recent days ahead of Jan. 6’s Joint Session of Congress.

“The Vice President has the power to reject fraudulently chosen electors,” Trump wrote on Tuesday in a tweet.

Republicans have been increasingly putting pressure on Pence, who serves as the president of the Senate and will oversee the certification of the Electoral College vote. At least a dozen Republican senators and dozens of House representatives have pledged to object to states’ electoral votes, which then is slated to trigger an hourslong debate before a simple-majority vote is held on whether to certify a state’s electoral votes.

“I know we all have got our doubts about the last election,” Pence told a crowd of supporters in Georgia on Monday, adding that “I want to assure you that I share the concerns of millions of Americans about voting irregularities. I promise you, come this Wednesday, we will have our day in Congress.”

Hours after Pence spoke, Trump told Georgia voters: “I hope Mike Pence comes through for us, I have to tell you.”

“I hope that our great vice president, our great vice president, comes through for us. He’s a great guy,” Trump said, without elaborating. “Of course, if he doesn’t come through, I won’t like him as much.”

But there have been questions about what power Pence actually has, as many legal experts have stipulated that the vice president mainly serves in a ceremonial capacity.

For the past several weeks since the Nov. 3 election, Trump and his team have alleged there was voter fraud, irregularities, and unconstitutional changes to regulations around mail-in balloting in key states. On Dec. 14, when the Electoral College voted, Republican-backed slates of electors also cast their votes for Trump and Pence in a bid to keep Trump’s legal challenges open.

VP Mike Pence
Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a visit to Rock Springs Church to campaign for GOP Senate candidates, in Milner, Ga., on Jan. 4, 2021. (Megan Varner/Getty Images)

The Joint Session of Congress opens starting at 1 p.m. on Wednesday. In prior sessions, vice presidents opened up certificates reflecting the electoral vote tallies that were sent by states before handing them to “tellers,” who are individuals appointed by both chambers of Congress to read out the ballots and verify. The tellers then read the ballots in alphabetical order, starting with Alabama.

A challenge to a state’s electoral votes needs to be submitted in writing and requires a senator and a representative. On Monday, Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), the lawmaker leading the effort in the House, announced he signed an objection to “tainted” electoral votes in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin—states where Trump’s campaign has filed lawsuits or held hearings in front of legislature members.

There has been growing pressure on Pence to take action during the Joint Session, with Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) and other Republicans filing a lawsuit against him in a bid to strike down a key provision of the 1887 Electoral Count Act, among other requests. That lawsuit was dismissed over the past weekend by a Texas court. And White House adviser Peter Navarro also asserted that Pence can delay the Joint Session process and provide a 10-day audit of the election results.

Pence spokesman Marc Short dismissed the claim.

“Peter Navarro is many things,“ he told the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday. “He is not a constitutional scholar.”

Source: Trump: Pence ‘Has the Power to Reject Fraudulently Chosen Electors’

6-Person Team Briefed Hundreds of State Senators on Election Irregularities

White House National Trade Council Director Peter Navarro is interviewed by Fox Business Network outside the White House October 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. Navarro will be taking a lead role in trade negotiations with the Chinese that are scheduled to begin this week. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

A six-person team that included Rudy Giuliani and Peter Navarro on Saturday briefed hundreds of state lawmakers on evidence of election irregularities.

The Zoom meeting included hundreds of legislators across Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, Navarro, the White House director of trade and manufacturing policy, said during an appearance on Fox News.

“These legislators, they’re hot, they’re angry, they want action,” Navarro said. “We gave them the receipts. We explained exactly how the Democrat Party, as a matter of strategy, stole this election from Donald J. Trump.”

According to Got Freedom?, a nonprofit election integrity watchdog, the meeting included an address by President Donald Trump. Nearly 300 legislators heard from the president, Navarro, and Trump’s lawyer, Giuliani.

John Eastman and John Lott were also part of the briefing. Eastman represented Texas in the now-dismissed interstate challenge to the outcome of the election. Lott, a senior adviser for research and statistics for the Department of Justice, authored a recently released report on election theft.

Legislators were briefed on evidence of alleged voter, ballot, and election fraud, which can be viewed on a webpage hosted by Got Freedom?

“This information should serve as an important resource for state legislators as they make calls for state legislatures to meet to investigate the election and consider decertifying their state election results,” Phill Kline, who heads the Thomas More Foundation’s Amistad Project and who hosted the call on behalf of of the group, said in a statement.

“The integrity of our elections is far too important to treat cavalierly, and elected officials deserve to have all relevant information at their disposal as they consider whether to accept the reported results of the 2020 elections, especially in states where the process was influenced by private interests,” he added.

Navarro released a report on Dec. 21 that summarized and categorized evidence of election theft. In the Jan. 2 interview, he said he will be releasing another report on Monday. Navarro said Saturday the report “shows beyond a shadow of a doubt this election was stolen.”

Trump’s legal team and a handful of third parties are litigating challenges to the election in court in six battleground states. Dozens of U.S. Senators and House members have committed to lodging objections to electoral slates from those states when Congress counts the Electoral College votes on Jan. 6.

Democrats have criticized the efforts and say the election ran smoothly, apart from a small number of voter fraud cases.

Navarro also suggested that a special counsel may be appointed to investigate if fraud had occurred.

“I would not be surprised to see a special counsel on this,” Navarro said.

Trump’s legal team testified before several panels and committees from state legislatures, including in Michigan, Arizona, and Georgia. The team argued that the mounting evidence of election theft and malfeasance necessitated that the legislatures assert their constitutional right to appoint presidential electors. None of the legislatures have so far followed the team’s advice.

Trump has called on his supporters to descend on Washington when Congress counts the electoral votes on Jan. 6. Some of the senators who committed to objecting to the Electoral College votes that day said they will do so unless Congress appoints a special commission to conduct a 10-day emergency audit of the election. Individual state legislatures would then vet the findings and have the opportunity to convene and vote on a new set of electors.

Source: 6-Person Team Briefed Hundreds of State Senators on Election Irregularities