Trump rages at Mike Pence for refusing coup demands after House passes election reform
Donald Trump / Gage Skidmore.

Former President Donald Trump on Thursday once again lashed out at former Vice President Mike Pence for refusing to go along with his plot to illegally remain in power by unilaterally throwing out certified election results from multiple states.

Writing on his Truth Social platform, Trump reacted with anger to the passage of a new bill in the House of Representatives that clarifies the Electoral Count Act and makes it explicit that the vice president's role in overseeing the certification of presidential election results is ceremonial.

"The House just passed a Bill which prohibits the Vice President from doing what all the 'great' Democrat & RINO legal scholars said he couldn’t do, 'under any circumstances,' regarding sending election results back to State Legislatures," Trump wrote. "If the V.P. couldn’t do it, then why are they passing legislation saying he can’t do it. BECAUSE HE COULD HAVE DONE IT, and should have, based on large scale fraudulent election results. Would have been a different result."

In fact, the vast majority of legal scholars, including many from the conservative Federalist Society, argue that attorney John Eastman's claims about the vice president's purported powers to reject election results have no basis in constitutional law.

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Trump then closed off his rant with an all-caps missive to his fellow Republicans and said, "REPUBLICAN SENATORS SHOULD VOTE NO!"

The Presidential Election Reform Act tightens the wording of the ECA -- which lays out how the state-by-state Electoral College results are tallied -- on the vice president's role and on how many lawmakers are required to object to a state's election results.

The controversy was at the heart of the 2021 US Capitol insurrection, and there is cross-party enthusiasm in both chambers of Congress to ensure there is no repeat of the violence that left scores of police with injuries and was linked to five deaths.

"This bill will prevent Congress from illegally choosing the president itself," said Republican Liz Cheney, who co-authored the text and has a leading role in the congressional investigation into Trump's actions before and during last year's violence.

The House bill passed by 229-203, with eight other Republicans crossing the aisle.

But it looks unlikely to prevail in upcoming negotiations to merge the legislation with a narrower Senate version that appears already to have the Republican support required to get to Biden's desk.

Neither effort is as comprehensive as the Freedom to Vote Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which fell to a Republican blockade in the Senate.

Progressive Democrats see the latest drive as a poor substitute for those bills, which took aim at restrictive voting laws being introduced in Republican-led states across the country.


With additional reporting by AFP