President Donald Trump is unhappy that the Department of Justice responded on behalf of Vice President Mike Pence in a lawsuit filed by Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert that aims to give Pence the power to overturn the presidential election.
Trump called Pence Friday morning to express surprise at the development. The president was more vocal to others about his displeasure, sources told the paper's Maggie Haberman.
POTUS was not pleased that DoJ responded on Pence's behalf in the Gohmert et al lawsuit trying to expand the VP's procedural role on Jan 6, per 3 ppl briefed. POTUS called Pence this AM to express some surprise about it; he has been more vocal with others about his displeasure.— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) January 1, 2021
Gohmert and Arizona's slate of GOP 'alternate' electors have sued Pence to expand his powers, so that he can solely determine which Electoral College votes to count when he presides over the January 6 session of Congress to make President-elect Joe Biden's win official.
In a fresh filing Friday afternoon, Gohmert argued that Pence is more powerful than a 'glorified envelope-opener in chief.'
'Under the Constitution, he has the authority to conduct that proceeding as he sees fit,' Gohmert wrote. 'He may count elector votes certified by a state’s executive, or he can prefer a competing slate of duly qualified electors. He may ignore all electors from a certain state. That is the power bestowed upon him by the Constitution.'Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
Legal experts have strongly disagreed with Gohmert's assessment.
In the Thursday night DOJ filing, Pence's lawyer, Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Coghlan, pointed out a basic fallacy in this case - in order to sue, the plaintiff and the defendant must be in opposition.
President Donald Trump (left), pictured returning to the White House Thursday with first lady Melania Trump (right), is unhappy the Justice Department stepped in on behalf of Vice President Mike Pence to crush a lawsuit aimed at giving Pence the power to overturn the election
Vice President Mike Pence's Justice Department lawyer wants a judge to toss out a case being spearheaded by Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert that seeks to expand Pence's powers so that he can choose which Electoral College votes count
Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Republican from Texas, filed a federal lawsuit in Texas alongside Arizona's 'alternate' Electoral College electors - and now some of Michigan's too - that seeks to allow Vice President Mike Pence to choose Trump electors over Biden electors on January 6
In this case, Gohmert and Pence's interests are aligned.
'The Vice President is not the proper defendant in this lawsuit,' Coghlan wrote. 'The Vice President - the only defendant in this case - is ironically the very person whose power they seek to promote.'Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
'A suit to establish that the vice president has discretion over the count, filed against the vice president, is a walking legal contradition,' Coghlan noted in a Thursday night filing.
Still, on Friday, a number of Michigan's 'alternate' electors filed a brief in the case.
If Trump had won Michigan, these individuals would have been the state's members of the Electoral College.
However, because Trump didn't win Michigan, the state's electors are Democrats - and cast their votes in favor of Biden in Lansing on December 14.
In court documents the rogue electors say that 'with the permission and endorsement of the Michigan Legislature' they cast votes in favor of President Donald Trump 'at the time, place, and manner required under Michigan state law and the Electoral Count