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“So I hope Mike has the courage to do what he has to do,” President Trump told his supporters, with the White House in the background, after 24 hours of publicly urging Vice President Mike Pence to oppose the the Electoral College results in Congress. 

Moments before the president spoke those words, Pence released a lengthy statement making it clear he will not do what the president wants him to do, saying he lacks the authority to block the will of the people in the 2020 presidential election. 

“It is my considered judgment that my oath to support and defend the Constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not,” Pence said, breaking his silence as the president publicly pressured him. 

Congress convened for a joint session Wednesday afternoon to tally states’ Electoral College votes, with a number of Republicans vowing to object to certain states. The joint session of Congress comes as Democrats are leading Republicans in the Senate runoff races in Georgia. 

Below is the vice president’s letter in full: 

Vice President’s statement on January 6, 2021 Vice President’s office 
Vice President’s letter, page 2
Vice president’s letter, page 3