Why Mike Pence can’t do anything on January 6th

Donald Trump has gone from grasping at the thinnest of straws to grasping at imaginary ones. He’s now demanding that Mike Pence simply refuse to acknowledge the results of the election when they’re read aloud in the Senate on January 6th. The thing is, this would accomplish literally nothing, as Pence has no constitutional or legal role other than to stand there and acknowledge that the results have been read.

Former U.S. Attorney Harry Litman is making a great analogy. Mike Pence’s role is the same as that of the presenter who reads aloud the name of the Oscar winner. The presenter plays no role in determining the winner, cannot magically pick a different winner, and would merely be scoffed at if he tried to announce an alternate winner. The only blowback would be against the presenter for making such a fool of himself – in this case Pence – and the Oscar would still go to the real winner.

The media is already printing stories about Mike Pence having privately explained this to Donald Trump, and those media leaks are pretty clearly coming from Pence himself. That’s because Pence knows there’s nothing he can do for Trump on January 6th, other than make a fool of himself in a way that won’t change anything.

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