Speaking at the rally in Georgia on Monday, Jan. 4, President Donald Trump said he hopes Vice President Mike Pence will “come through for us” during the joint session of Congress on Jan. 6. 

“I hope Mike Pence comes through for us. I hope our great vice president comes through for us. He’s a great guy. Of course, if he doesn’t come through, I won’t like him very much,” President Trump told a crowd at the rally in support of Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, who are seeking re-election in their Senate runoff, which will take place on Tuesday. 

“Mike is a great guy. He’s a wonderful man, and a smart man, and a man that I like, a lot,” President Trump continued. “But he’s going to have a lot to say about it. You know one thing with him, you’re going to get straight shots—he’s going to call it straight.”

In his capacity as the president of the Senate, Pence will preside over the Jan. 6 session where Republicans will object to the Electoral College vote count for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in several disputed battleground states. 

Pence will be reading the electoral votes for all 50 states. There is some debate as to the role of the vice president at this stage as some believe it is ceremonial while others say Pence has the authority to decide which slate of electors will be counted. Republicans electors in 7 states cast alternative slates of votes for President Trump on Dec. 14, as the certified Democrat electors in the same states cast votes for Biden. 

Vice president’s role on Jan. 6

Trade and Manufacturing Policy Director Peter Navarro said over the weekend that Pence has the authority to delay the presidential inauguration as Republican officials are seeking a 10-day audit of the election in swing states. 

“I would not be surprised to see a special counsel on this,” Navarro told Fox News host Jeanine Pirro. “And Vice President Pence, he has the authority to give that 10-day window to do what needs to get done. And I cannot imagine, when he goes through the facts, he won’t vote the right way on that.”

Trump campaign legal adviser Jenna Ellis on Monday suggested that Pence could delay the certification of the Electoral College votes and instead ask the legislature in the six disputed states to clarify which candidate’s slate of electors should be approved. 

“That’s a fair question. That’s not exercising discretion. That’s not setting up any sort of bad precedent. That’s actually returning the authority to the constitutionally vested entity and just simply directing that question I think would then require a response from these very timid, to put it lightly, state legislators that haven’t been willing to act, and it would in fact then give a very clean outcome to this election,” Ellis said.

In a separate campaign event in Georgia earlier in the day, Pence promised that Republicans and the president “will have our day in Congress.”

A growing group of Republican officials have announced that they will object to the Electoral College votes during the Jan. 6 session, including 13 senators and over 50 GOP in the House committing to supporting the effort. 

On Monday, Perdue and Loeffler also announced that they will join the efforts to challenge the electoral vote count. 

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