A group of Republicans led by Rep. Louie Gohmert on Monday sued Vice President Mike Pence arguing that he is legally authorized to choose pro-Trump electors when Congress meets next month to certify the results of the presidential election.
The lawsuit is the latest in a series of unusual gambits by President Trump‘s allies to overturn the results of last month’s presidential election.
Mr. Gohmert, Texas Republican, says Mr. Pence has the “exclusive authority” to decide which electors should be counted on Jan 6, when Congress convenes to affirm President-elect Joseph R. Biden’s electoral victory.
The certification is largely a procedural issue overseen by the sitting vice president. That will put Mr. Pence in the uncomfortable role of announcing a Biden victory.
Mr. Gohmert and others in the lawsuit say Mr. Pence can ignore the pro-Biden electors and choose the pro-Trump electors in five states where results of last month’s election have been contested. That would give Mr. Trump 73 additional electoral votes, more than enough to seal a victory.
They have asked U.S. District Judge Jeremy Kernodle, a Trump appointee, to declare that the vice president has the power to choose the Trump electors in those states.
“Under the Twelfth Amendment, defendant Pence alone has the exclusive authority and sole discretion to open and permit the counting of electoral votes or a given state and when there are competing slates of electors or where there is objection to any single slate of electors, to determine which electors’ votes or whether none should be counted,” the plaintiffs wrote in the lawsuit.
Mr. Gohmert says he will contest the Biden electors from those states because of allegations of voting fraud.
The five states, which have GOP legislatures, have put forth a competing slate of electors. Those states are Arizona, Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia and Pennsylvania.
In addition to Mr. Gohmert, other plaintiffs include Arizona Republican Party Chairwoman Kelli Ward, Arizona Republican Party Director Greg Safsten, and Students for Trump.
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