Pence's legal team could not verify Trump's claims of election fraud, memo says
Then-Vice President Mike Pence’s legal team determined most of former President Trump’s claims of election fraud in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election could not be verified, according to a newly obtained memo Politico published Friday.
Why it matters: The memo dates to the days before the Electoral College certification that Trump wanted Pence to block in his failed effort to overturn the election results.
- The memo was provided to the congressional panel investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot by the National Archives and Records Administration, per Politico.
Catch up fast: “In general, there is strong evidence that state and local election officials committed numerous procedural violations that reduced transparency and/or favored Democrat candidates,” the 10-page memo states.
- “However, most allegations of substantive voter fraud — defined to mean the casting of illegal ballots in violation of prevailing election laws — are either relatively small in number, or cannot be verified.”
Pence’s legal team sought to vet claims of election fraud the Trump campaign lodged in six swing states.
- Those included allegations that thousands of votes in Georgia were cast by dead or underaged people. The claim was key to a request Trump’s lawyers made while seeking a court order for a new election in Georgia.
- As for Trump’s claims of voter fraud in Arizona, Michigan and Nevada, Pence’s lawyers wrote: “Statistical experts identified numbers suggestive of the possibility of voter fraud, but these numbers cannot be verified.”
What they’re saying: The memo lays out Pence’s view, his White House chief of staff Marc Short said, per Politico.
- “We often observed the irregularities that occurred during the 2020 election, the reality that Democrats effectively weaponized election changes that were the result of" the COVID-19 pandemic, Short said. “But ultimately it was important to catalog the various allegations and where there was hard evidence, or lack thereof, of actual theft.”