Mike Pence Says Trump Is 'Wrong' to Say as Vice President He Could Overturn Election: 'Had No Right'

"The truth is there's more at stake than our party or our political fortunes," Pence said in a speech before a conservative audience

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Vice President Mike Pence. Photo: CJ GUNTHER/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Mike Pence directly rebutted a claim former President Donald Trump made recently about the vice president's ability to "overturn" the 2020 election results by rejecting the electoral votes newly elected President Joe Biden won.

"This week, our former president said I had the right to 'overturn the election.' President Trump is wrong," Pence said Friday during a speech at a conference hosted by the Federalist Society, the Washington Post reports. "I had no right to overturn the election."

Trump claimed that as vice president, Pence could have — and should have — rejected the electoral votes presented during a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6, 2021, because of baseless claims of fraud, which the former president and his supporters asserted after losing the 2020 election.

"There are those in our party who believe that as the presiding officer over the joint session of Congress, I possessed unilateral authority to reject electoral college votes," Pence said Friday. "Under the Constitution, I had no right to change the outcome of our election."

Trump also recently indicated he would issue pardons as needed — if he were to return as president to the White House — to those charged in the pro-Trump Jan. 6 attack that nearly derailed the electoral vote count at the Capitol.

Another Trump ally, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, said pardons would be "inappropriate."

Evan Vucci/AP.

Some of the attackers chanted, "Hang Mike Pence" during the riot. Trump has defended the threats, saying, "the people were very angry."

"The truth is there's more at stake than our party or our political fortunes," Pence said Friday, according to The New York Times. "If we lose faith in the Constitution, we won't just lose elections — we'll lose our country."

The former vice president, who recently told Fox News he hasn't spoken to Trump in nearly a year, included a line in his speech that likely thrilled the conservative crowd at the Federalist Society conference.

"Kamala Harris," Pence added, "will have no right to overturn the election when we beat them in 2024."

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