Former vice president and current 2024 presidential candidate Mike Pence has spoken out about the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election.
He claims he does not recall any form of pressure from then-President Trump to coax Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey into seeking evidence of voter fraud.
When questioned about a Washington Post report asserting that Trump had urged him to call Ducey in an attempt to reverse the 2020 election results, Pence responded with clarity.
“I don’t remember any pressure,” he declared during a CBS News interview that aired on Sunday.
Pence did, however, acknowledge making calls to several governors — including Ducey — who were in the midst of the legal process of reviewing their election results. He insisted that these calls were devoid of any pressure; their purpose was merely to obtain updates, which he then relayed to the president.
“I was calling to get an update. I passed along that information to the president and, as I said, I think the record from that time confirms all of that,” Pence stated.
The former vice president — who also served as the governor of Indiana — offered some context for these interactions. He highlighted the atmosphere of uncertainty surrounding the election outcomes in states such as Arizona and Georgia, which Trump lost.
“States around the country were going through the legal process of engaging in a review under state law. I got updates on that, passed that along, and it was no more, no less than that,” Pence said.
The post-election activities of Trump and his allies are currently under the scrutiny of special counsel Jack Smith, who is investigating efforts to challenge the 2020 election outcome. Pence appeared before a federal grand jury in April as part of this investigation.
Moreover, Trump’s conversations with Georgia officials regarding the state’s 2020 election results have also attracted legal attention, with Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis leading an investigation. Trump, already embroiled in other legal cases, continues to vehemently deny any wrongdoing and labels these investigations as a “witch hunt.”
Reflecting on his own actions during this period, Pence emphasized his refusal to yield to Trump’s pressure to send back election results to certain states in January 2021. This happened during his tenure as the presiding officer over a joint session of Congress, which was tasked with certifying Joe Biden’s presidential election victory.
“The president expressed his strong belief that I had authority that I did not have under the Constitution in the closing days,” Pence said.
Pence maintained that he acted in accordance with his constitutional duty while presiding over the joint session of Congress in the chaotic aftermath of the January 6 Capitol incident.
Throughout the months of November and December 2020, Pence emphasized the existence of an “orderly process.” During this time, multiple states were conducting reviews of their election results, and a plethora of lawsuits were in progress. Describing his conversations with governors, Pence characterized his role as that of an information gatherer: “We passed that information along and otherwise just focused on the work at hand.”