GOP Rep. Says Trump, ‘Congressional Grifters’ Looking to Overhaul Electoral College Is ‘Sad,’ an ‘Utter Scam’

GOP Rep. Says Trump, ‘Congressional Grifters’ Looking to Overhaul Electoral College Is ‘Sad,’ an ‘Utter Scam’

President Trump on Wednesday retweeted a false argument claiming that Vice President Mike Pence can and should throw out electoral votes from swing states won by President-elect Joe Biden.

Congress will meet on Jan. 6 to count the Electoral College votes, and Pence will preside over the event as president of the Senate.

Trump has also asked advisors about Pence’s role, according to Axios.

Trump would view Pence performing his constitutional duty — and validating the election result — as the ultimate betrayal,” it reports, citing those who’ve discussed the topic with him.

One source told the outlet that Trump had referenced a Lincoln Project ad claiming Pence is “backing away” from the president. “This ad has clearly got inside Trump’s head,” this person said.

But Pence’s role in the constitutionally ordained process is limited. “There’s not much [Pence] can do,” former Senate historian Donald Ritchie told the New York Times last week. “His job is really just to read them out aloud.”

The power to discard electoral votes technically resides with Congress itself. Although a handful of Republican congressmen have pledged to object to Biden electors, the likelihood that the electors will be tossed out is very slim since Democrats control the House and Senate Republicans have publicly resisted such calls.

In light of all this, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) wrote on Twitter Saturday morning that Trump and company are just trying to “raise money and gain followers by blaming everyone else knowing full well they can’t do anything. It’s sad, and an utter scam.” 

As of Dec. 1, Trump raised more than $170 million by making false accusations of voter fraud, with much of the money “likely to go into an account for the president to use on political activities after he leaves office,” according to the Washington Post.

Kinzinger’s comment is similar to what MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow had to say on the issue: that it’s a “better deal” for Trump financially to lose the election and continue to ask for money than to have won and be forced to continue to govern.

William Vaillancourt

William Vaillancourt

William Vaillancourt is a writer and editor from New Hampshire whose work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Progressive, Slate and Areo Magazine, among other places. He holds a BA in Political Science and History from Boston University.