- Vice President Mike Pence responded late Thursday to a lawsuit by a group of Trump supporters hoping to push him to overturn Joe Biden’s election victory.
- It is part of a longshot bid to empower the Vice President to accept or reject the results of the presidential election in each state.
- The Trump supporters, led by Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert, asked a judge to tell Pence he has unilateral power to reject the results at a meeting of Congress on January 6.
- But Pence wants no part of it — in his response, government lawyers argued that the suit was misdirected. Pence also declined an earlier chance to join the lawsuit.
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Vice President Mike Pence asked a judge to stop a lawsuit filed by pro-Trump Republicans who hope it will empower him to stop President-elect Joe Biden taking power later this month.
The Department of Justice issued the request on Pence’s behalf to a federal judge late on Thursday December 31.
The suit was filed by Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican, alongside a group of Trump supporters from Arizona.
It is aimed at expanding Pence’s power as the president of the US Senate. The position means Pence is due to preside on January 6 over a joint session of Congress where lawmakers certify the results of the presidential election.
But the lawsuit asks a judge to tell Pence that he can unilaterally reject results from individual states by himself.
The hope of those who filed the suit is that Pence could reject results from states which supported Biden, and accept those which votes for President Donald Trump.
Under the all-but-impossible scenario, this would secure Trump a second term despite having lost the election on November 3.
However, the Thursday filing shows that Pence wants no part of it.
The Department of Justice letter sent on Pence’s behalf called the lawsuit a “legal contradiction” and said it should not have been filed against Pence at all.
The DOJ cited the principle that in order to sue somebody, you ought to be opposed to them in some way, according to The Washington Post.
This, it said, was not the case for Pence since the Trump supporters were, confusingly, suing Pence in order to give him extra powers.
According to Politico, Gohmert and his allies also tried to have Pence join the lawsuit earlier in the process, but he declined.
As of early Friday, the US District Judge Jeremy D. Kernodle had yet to act on Pence’s request.