Rep. Gohmert is trying to force Pence to exercise an uncertain authority to overturn electoral votes.
Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert tried to convince Vice President Mike Pence to abuse his power and discount Democratic votes in the Electoral College.
KLTV reports that Gohmert’s original plan was laid bare in a late December hearing. Gohmert, a Republican representative from Tyler, Texas, is suing Pence—among the leaders of his own party—in a last-ditch attempt to buck President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election.
According to KLTV, Gohmert’s suit is, at its core, attempting to prevent Pence—who, as vice president, is the symbolic head of the Electoral College—from counting Democrat electors’ ballots in battleground states.
Gohmert, like many other conservatives, has refused to accept that President Trump lost both the electoral vote and popular vote. Instead of accepting defeat, Gohmert and his allies have attempted to rework the country’s legal system to keep Trump in office.
Gohmert’s suit, like many of those filed by the Trump campaign itself, supposes that the 2020 presidential election must have bene afflicted by widespread voter fraud.
While Pence is the target of Gohmert’s complaint, the Texas Republican had contacted the vice president prior to filing.
Before “moving for emergency relief, Plaintiffs’ counsel conferred via telephone with the Counsel to the Vice President and provided and as-filed copy of the Complaint and an unsigned final copy of the Plaintiffs Motion via email.
“In the teleconference,” court filings say, “Plaintiffs’ counsel made a meaningful attempt to resolve the underlying legal issues by agreement, including advising the Vice President’s counsel that Plaintiffs intended to seek immediate injunctive relief in the event the parties did not agree. These discussions were not succeeded in reaching an agreement, and this lawsuit was filed.”
Gohmert further said that he himself had not spoken to Pence, but that his attorneys had been in touch with the vice president’s legal team.
“I haven’t talked to the vice president himself since we filed the suit, but we have been in touch through his lawyers,” Gohmert said. “It is important to note that the suit against my friend Vice President Mike Pence is in his official capacity.”
Bloomberg adds that Gohmert failed to convince Pence’s lawyers to expedite the lawsuit by “serving” Pence over email.
Gohmert’s lawsuit is not likely to succeed. As some legal experts have pointed out, permitting Vice President Pence to override electoral votes would vest a vast amount of power in a single office—effectively permitting any future V.P. to seize the Oval Office for themselves.