Mark Levin devoted a portion of his show on Sunday to frantically defending Donald Trump against a variety of charges he might hypothetically face as the U.S. Justice Department continues its investigation, parallel to the one being carried out by the January 6th Committee. This included a rant about how the Founding Fathers failed to notify modern America of the Vice President’s duty in confirming the electoral vote, and a suggestion that it would be impossible to charge Trump, since Mike Pence resisted the ‘pressure’ to help fraudulently overturn the election.
Of course, the ‘pressure’ in question wasn’t just phone calls or pleading or arguments, but an angry mob focused on the idea that the Vice President was committing treason, and the stated desire to carry out an execution as punishment, but Levin doesn’t get into that.
He’s mostly focused on claiming that, since the Constitution doesn’t say exactly what a Vice President can and can’t do with regard to the confirmation, Trump wasn’t necessarily wrong to pressure him to reject the electoral votes, and making up scenarios where this might be justifiable.
Levin: We’re not a 100% sure what the Vice President’s role is. Look at the constitution… Look at the 12th amendment. Is it clear? No, it’s ambiguous… Oh he pressured the VP but the VP, he resisted. So what! That’s exactly how the system is supposed to work. pic.twitter.com/S9ykmXdWmA
— Acyn (@Acyn) August 1, 2022
“Here’s the dirty little secret you’re not hearing from the legal analysts, you’re not hearing from the media, you’re not hearing from anybody. Now you’ll hear it. We’re not 100% sure what the Vice President’s role is.”
Here’s what the 12th Amendment to the United States Constitution says, via ConstitutionCenter:
The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted; — The person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed…
Levin has other objections though, insisting this is ambiguous, and this ambiguity — rather than the attempted abuse of the position — is why there are proposals for new legislation that would clarify that role.
So, why should the VP have, in Levin’s opinion, the power to unilaterally reject the votes of the people? He’s got an elaborate hypothetical to explain:
“What if we learn, after the quote-unquote election, that there was all kinds of bribery taking place? A bribery scheme in, say, a state, that turned out to affect the outcome of the election? Now, is the Vice President of the United States, overseeing the process as the president of the Senate, can he object, can he send it back to the states, or he must rubber stamp it?”
Ultimately, though, Levin seems to conclude that the efforts to overturn the election couldn’t be criminal if they were unsuccessful:
“How do you build a criminal case around that? Oh, he pressured the Vice President! But the Vice President, he resisted! So what? That’s exactly the way the system’s supposed to work!”
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com