In his first extended written remarks since leaving office in January, former Vice President Pence attacked the 2020 election on Wednesday.
Pence, who was presiding over a joint session of Congress when a mob of former President Trump’s supporters disrupted the certification of the Electoral College results, said there were “major voting irregularities” and “numerous incidents of officials disregarding state election law” in the 2020 presidential election.
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Some in the mob wanted him hanged, and the former vice president said the events had “deprived the American people of a meaningful dialogue in Congress regarding election fairness in America.”
Pence made the remarks in an op-ed piece written by the conservative Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal. The meaning was Pence’s criticism of H.R. 1, a voting rights bill scheduled to pass the House on Wednesday, which he said would “increase opportunities for election fraud.”
Trump and his supporters have consistently claimed that massive fraud played a role in his defeat to Vice President Joe Biden. State officials in swing states, as well as courts, including a Supreme Court with a 6-3 conservative majority that includes three Trump nominees, have refuted those claims.
Under Trump’s administration, the Justice Department found no proof of systemic election manipulation in 2020 that would have tainted the results of either state.
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False allegations of systemic fraud fueled the mob that stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, putting Pence and legislators from both parties in danger and killing five people.
In the op-ed, the former vice president claims that provisions in the voting rights bill, officially known as the For the People Act, will “trample the First Amendment, further erode confidence in our elections, and forever dilute the votes of legally qualified eligible voters.”
“While lawmakers in several states have begun working on electoral reform to restore public trust in state elections, sadly, congressional Democrats have opted to ignore certain legitimate concerns and changes in favor of a brazen effort to nationalize elections in flagrant violation of the United States Constitution,” writes Pence.
Democrats proposed legislation that would increase the number of people who may vote by mail, require states to pass electronic voter legislation, and grant the Justice Department more power to implement voting rights laws.
The bill is set to be voted on by the Democratic-controlled House on Wednesday; it passed the lower chamber in 2019 but was never taken up by the Republican-controlled Senate. In the upper chamber, Democrats now have a one-seat plurality.
The bill has Biden’s White House’s support, citing Trump’s failed attempt to reverse the results, which included a lobbying campaign on Pence to use an authority he didn’t have to throw out the Electoral College votes.
“In the wake of an unprecedented assault on our democracy, a never-before-seen effort to ignore, undermine, and undo the will of the people, and a new aggressive attack on voting rights taking place right now across the country, this landmark legislation is urgently needed to protect the right to vote and the integrity of our elections, as well as to repair and strengthen American democracy,” the WCC said.
Pence’s op-ed on Wednesday is his most detailed public statement since leaving the White House on January 20. Pence has been largely quiet since attending Biden’s inauguration, save for a few tweets.