- At a Monday rally, President Donald Trump said he hoped Vice President Mike Pence "comes through" to help him overturn the 2020 election results.
- Trump appears to be under the impression that Pence has the power to certify him as the winner when the Electoral College votes are officially certified on Wednesday.
- Pence is to preside over Wednesday's joint session of Congress to read aloud the certificates cast by the Electoral College to finalize the vote count, and confirm the selection of the next president.
- But Pence's role is largely ceremonial, and he has no real power to change the results.
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President Donald Trump told supporters at a rally on Monday that he hopes Mike Pence "comes through" to help overturn the 2020 election results, when the vice president presides over a joint session of Congress on Wednesday to formally announce the winner.
Trump has expressed a belief that Pence has the power to influence the outcome of Wednesday's ceremony, during which the vice president will witness each state's Electoral College results being read out and then announce Joe Biden as the president-elect.
However, Pence's role is largely ceremonial.
The New York Times likened Pence's role to that of a presenter at the Academy Awards. He will read out the winner, but he has no power to influence who that winner is.
This puts Pence in the awkward position of infuriating the president, whose support he will want if he decides to run for president in 2024.
"I hope Mike Pence comes through for us, I have to tell you," Trump said at the Monday rally for Georgia's two Republican Senate runoff race candidates.
"Of course, if he doesn't come through, I won't like him quite as much," Trump said, adding that Pence was "going to have a lot to say about it. And you know one thing with him, you're going to get straight shots. He's going to call it straight."
Pence also risks losing the support of Trump's fans, who on Monday yelled at another Georgia rally for him to "Stop the steal!" according to The Times.
Pence assured the crowd that he shares "the concerns of millions of Americans about voting irregularities" and that "we'll have our day in Congress" on Wednesday and "we'll hear the evidence."
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Pence appeared to be referring to the effort by a group of Republicans to challenge the election results in several states on Wednesday. On Saturday, the vice president said he "welcomes" those attempts.
While these Republicans will have the ability to force a vote on these results, their odds of winning these challenges are slim to none with Democrats in control of the House, according to the Associated Press.
Pence's inner circle expects him to follow the rules and fulfill his ceremonial role as Senate president, The Times reported, citing the vice president's aides.
Sources close to Pence also told the AP that he has a respect for institutions, and that they expect him to follow the letter of the law.
"I think he will approach this as a constitutionalist, basically, and say, 'What's my role in the Constitution as president of the Senate?'" said David McIntosh, president of the conservative Club for Growth and a friend of Pence.
"What he'll do is allow anybody who is going to move to object to be heard, but then abide by what the majority of the Senate makes the outcome."
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