Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), the first Senate Republican to publicly announce he’d be challenging Congress’ certification of Joe Biden’s presidential election victory, admitted on Tuesday night that Vice President Mike Pence can’t do anything to overturn the results.
Appearing on Fox News’ The Ingraham Angle, Hawley was asked by pro-Trump host Laura Ingraham whether he thought Pence “should not accept the certification of tomorrow’s election.” This comes on the heels of President Donald Trump’s false claim that the vice president “has the power” to block Biden’s win.
“You know, my understanding is that under the 12th amendment, and under the relevant laws, the vice president, he opens the certificates and then he hands them over to the clerk in the Senate and the House and they count the votes,” Hawley nervously muttered. “I don't think the vice president actually counts under the law. He's sort of just there. This is really on Congress.”
The president has placed intense pressure on Pence in recent days to block certification of the Electoral College vote when Congress meets on Wednesday, something Pence does not have the power to do in his largely symbolic role. The New York Times reported on Tuesday that Pence informed Trump that he can’t overturn the election during their weekly lunch, something the president immediately disputed, releasing a statement saying the two are “in complete agreement” and that Pence “never said that.”