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Pence says it would have been 'un-American' to not certify results of 2020 election

Vice President Mike Pence
Posted at 11:52 AM, Jun 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-25 11:53:41-04

Former Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday said he was "proud" to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election on Jan. 6, despite being pressured by then-President Donald Trump to act outside of the Constitution and attempt to overturn the results.

Speaking at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California, Pence said that not certifying the election results would have been "un-American."

"The truth is, there's almost no idea more un-American than the notion that any one person could choose the American president," Pence said. "The presidency belongs to the American people and the American people alone."

On Jan. 6, Pence led a joint session of Congress, tasked by the Constitution with tallying the Electoral College vote count. Trump publicly pressured Pence to stop the proceedings and send results back to the states — even though the Constitution did not grant Pence such powers.

"Now, there are those in our party who believe that in my position as presiding officer over the joint session, that I possessed the authority to reject or return electoral votes certified by states," Pence said, according to Politico. "But the Constitution provides the vice president with no such authority before the joint session of Congress."

Later that day, thousands of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to delay the proceedings. Video from that day showed some protesters chanting about hanging Pence.

In his remarks Thursday, Pence further defended his decision by adding there was more "at stake" than just an election.

"Now I understand the disappointment many feel about the last election. I can relate. I was on the ballot," Pence said. "But you know, there's more at stake than our party and our political fortunes in this moment."

Pence is attempting to navigate his political future as an ally of Trump — still an immensely popular figure among conservatives — even though Trump has distanced himself from Pence over his actions on Jan. 6.

Earlier this month, Pence said he thought he would never see "eye to eye" with Trump over his actions on Jan. 6.