Republican representatives. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyCheney breaks her quarterly fundraising record while facing Trump-backed main challenge Cheney. Kinzinger calls Trump over Pence comments (Wyo.) and Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerPsaki: Trump issues pardons on January 6, overturns election, recalls he’s unfit Cheney breaks her quarterly fundraising record as she faces Trump-backed primary challenge Cheney, Kinzinger calls out Trump over Pence comments MORE (Fig.) called former President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump advisers’ second draft order attempted to ask DHS to seize voting machines: report Senate group plows ahead with election law changes after Trump notes National Archives receive Trump records that were torn apart and taped back together: report MORE after proposing this former vice president Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceSenate group plows ahead with electoral law changes after Trump notes Trump gives GOP new headache on Jan. 6 Pence chief of staff testifies before committee Jan. 6: report MORE should have overturned the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Cheney and Kinzinger, the only two Republicans serving on the House Special Committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol, called the ex-president’s statements un-American.
Cheney outlined a number of Trump’s recent statements in a tweet on Monday — including his admission that “he was trying to overturn the election” — before writing, “He would do anything all over again if given the chance.”
The Wyoming Republican, who faces a major Trump-backed challenger, also noted that Trump previously said he would consider pardoning people charged in connection with the Jan. 6 riots if he runs for president again and wins another term in the White House.
Kinzinger said Sunday Trump’s statement earlier that day was “an admission” and “massively un-American.” He then gave GOP leaders an ultimatum, urging them to “choose a side between Trump and the Constitution.”
“There is no longer a middle ground to defend our nation,” he said added in a tweet.
Trump cited a Congressional effort to reform the Electoral Count Act as evidence that Pence had “the right to change the outcome” of the 2020 presidential election in a statement Sunday.
The former president said Pence “unfortunately didn’t exercise that power,” adding, “He could have overturned the election!”
Pence’s role in overseeing Electoral College certification, as with all vice presidents, was largely ceremonial. He chaired a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6, where he recognized GOP senators and members of the House of Representatives who objected to vote count results in certain states. That led to votes in the House and Senate to consider the objections.
Trump has long wrongly argued that Pence had more power over the process, and the mob that stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 did so believing they could stop Congress from counting the Electoral College.
They interrupted it, but Congress returned later that night to continue its work.
Trump’s statement on Sunday was similar to the argument put forward by conservative attorney John Eastman, who was subpoenaed by the January 6 Congressional Committee in November. After the 2020 presidential election, the attorney reportedly advised the Trump campaign to use Pence to overturn the election results and urged state legislatures to take a stand against voters from certain states.
The former president’s statement comes as Congress’ efforts to reform the Electoral Counts Act gather momentum, with some lawmakers seeing changes to the archaic law as a bipartisan compromise on electoral reform that Democrats have been pushing for at the federal level after the 2020 election .
The Electoral Count Act was enacted in 1887 and sets out how electoral college results are counted. A bipartisan group of senators met last week to discuss changes to the statute.
Updated at 11:15 p.m