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Sunday May 16th, 2021 10:50AM

The Latest: Trump keeps up pressure on Pence to subvert vote

By The Associated Press
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Congress’ tally of the Electoral College vote won by Joe Biden (all times local):

12:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump is continuing his pressure-campaign against Vice President Mike Pence, telling thousands of supporters falsely that all Pence has to do to stay in office is send Electoral College votes back to the states to be recertified.

Pence has no such unilateral power under the Constitution and congressional rules that govern the count. It is up to the House and Senate to voice objections, and in any case the states’ electors were chosen in accordance with state law, not fraudulently.

The demonstrators on the Ellipse, south of the White House, cheered Trump on and planned to march to Capitol Hill where Congress will vote to affirm or contest the Electoral College results. The president said he’d be walking with the crowd.

“All Mike Pence has to do is send it back to the states,” Trump said, urging his loyal vice president to join lawmakers who are protesting President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

“Mike Pence is going to have to come through for us,” Trump said, “and if he doesn’t it’s a sad day for our country.” Trump said it would take courage for Pence not to contest the results.

___

12:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump is vowing that “we will never concede” as he speaks to supporters shortly before Congress is to convene for a joint session to confirm the Electoral College vote won by President-elect Joe Biden.

Trump took the stage at the Save America rally, which drew thousands of supporters who swamped the nation’s capital as the president’s Republican allies in the House and Senate plan to object to his November election loss to Biden.

Trump urged Vice President Mike Pence, who will play a largely ceremonial role in the process, to block certification of Biden’s win. Pence does not have this power.

“Our country has had enough,” Trump said. “We won’t take it anymore.”

___

11 a.m.

Sen. Mitt Romney says President Donald Trump’s election challenge has “disgraced the office of the presidency."

Romney told reporters on Capitol Hill ahead of Wednesday’s joint session to confirm Joe Biden’s Electoral College win that he was certain of the outcome.

“I’m confident that we’ll proceed as the Constitution demands and tell our supporters the truth — whether or not they want to hear it,” Romney said.

Republican lawmakers are picking up Trump’s demands to challenge the results from several states. But they are not expected to have enough votes in Congress to change the results. Biden is set to be inaugurated on Jan. 20.

Romney said, “President Trump has disrespected the American voters, has dishonored the election system and has disgraced the office of the presidency.”

He called the “gambit” of the challenges in Congress “very disappointing.”

___

HERE'S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CONGRESS' TALLY OF THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE VOTE

Read more:

— EXPLAINER: How Congress will count Electoral College votes

— Trump insists, falsely, that Pence can decertify results

— GOP’s Biden vote revolt is atypical challenge for McConnell

— Dividing party, Republicans poised to challenge Biden win

___

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON:

8:55 a.m.

President Donald Trump is turning up the pressure on his vice president in a futile effort to overturn the results of the Nov. 3 presidential election in Congress.

Vice President Mike Pence will preside Wednesday over a joint session of lawmakers for the congressional tallying of electoral votes, but his role is only ministerial.

Taking to Twitter, Trump on Wednesday repeated his unfounded assertions that there was widespread election irregularities and fraud — which have been dismissed by federal courts and his own Justice Department.

“All Mike Pence has to do is send them back to the States, AND WE WIN,” Trump falsely claimed. “Do it Mike, this is a time for extreme courage!”

Pence has no such unilateral power under congressional rules that govern the count.

More than 100 GOP lawmakers are expected to challenge the officially certified electoral votes of several battleground states. Majorities in both chambers are required to reject the will of voters, but enough Republican lawmakers have said they will join with Democrats to reject the last-ditch move by Trump allies.

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