Trump Shifts Responsibility for January 6 on Pence

“You can blame him.” Former president Donald Trump is shifting responsibility for the January 6, 2021 insurrection on the Capitol to his former vice president, Mike Pence. 

His remarks come after Pence said that history will hold Trump accountable for the violence. 

Trump responded to Pence’s contention, saying the deadly attack was his former vice president’s fault.

“Had he sent the votes back to the legislatures, they wouldn’t have had a problem with January 6, so in many ways you can blame him for January 6,” Trump said.

“Had he sent them back to Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona, the states, I believe, No. 1, you have had a different outcome. But I also believe you wouldn’t have had ‘Jan. 6’ as we call it.”

Trump wanted Pence to stop the peaceful, legitimate transfer of power to the 2020 election victor Joe Biden. He called upon his vice president, in his role as Senate president, to refuse to certify election results in battleground states, on grounds of supposed electoral fraud, thereby overturning Trump’s conclusive defeat by Biden.

Pence has said he did not have the constitutional authority to reject the electoral votes on Jan. 6 and that Trump was “wrong” to suggest the vice president had the power to overturn election results. 

“Had he sent them back to Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona … I believe, number one, you would have had a different outcome. But I also believe you wouldn’t have had ‘January 6’ as we call it,” Trump said this week. 

The January 6 committee outlined how Pence refused to go along with Trump’s plan to block certification after advisers told him he did not have the authority to do so.

Pence, who was unflinchingly loyal to Trump throughout their four years in office, has for the past year consistently said he disagreed with Trump over Jan. 6. His comments about the insurrection were among his most direct and critical to date.

The courts have rejected Trump’s efforts to nullify the 2020 election, and Congress last December passed legislation to clarify that the vice president does not have the power to overturn a presidential election.

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