Last Updated on July 25, 2022
During a closed-door meeting, U.S. Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) stood up and thanked Mike Pence for refusing to assist Trump’s legal challenge to the 2020 election. Jonathan Swan of Axios reported that Roy praised Pence during a Republican Study Committee meeting, saying how “grateful” he was to Pence for “defending our constitution” by refusing to allow state-appointed alternate electors to proceed.
In the weeks following the 2020 election, Roy threw cold water on election fraud questions and urged his Republican colleagues to confirm Biden’s victory.
“The text of the Constitution is clear,” Roy wrote in a letter explaining his decision to certify Biden’s electors. “States elect electors, Congress does not. Accordingly, our path forward is also clear. We must respect the states’ authority here. Though doing so may frustrate our immediate political objectives, we have sworn an oath to promote the Constitution above our policy goals. We must count the electoral votes submitted by the states.”
Roy’s statement was not accurate, however, as a number of states opted to send alternate electors due to the widespread fraud allegations and election irregularities that have still yet to be investigated. Republicans in Georgia, Arizona, Wisconsin, Michigan and Nevada declared themselves “the duly elected and qualified electors,” on electoral certifications.
These states, along with Pennsylvania, were referenced in a memo from Trump lawyer John Eastman that outlined the legal basis of Trump’s election challenge. “Seven states have transmitted dual slates of electors to the President of the Senate,” the memo began.
“The 12th Amendment merely provides that ‘the President of the Senate shall, in the presence the Senate and the House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall be counted,” Eastman continued in the memo. Eastman then cited previous legal authority and historical precedence, including the 1800 election between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.
He then laid out a six-step plan in which Vice President Pence would announce that multiple slates of electors had been sent from seven states, starting with Arizona due to order. At the end of the count, Pence could have announced that “because of the ongoing disputes in the 7 States, there are no electors that can be deemed validly appointed in those States. That means the total number of “electors appointed” – the language of the 12th Amendment — is 454.” Eastman then cited an interpretation from Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe, who had previously advanced this reading of the 12th Amendment.
Despite Trump’s election challenge having precedent, Vice President Pence refused to fulfill his role in the plan and opted to confirm Biden’s electors.
This pleased Chip Roy, who heaped praise upon Pence during the recent meeting.
The Freedom Caucus member previously criticized Praised Pence and criticized Trump during the former’s second impeachment trial, saying Trump deserved condemnation for mounting a legal challenge to the highly questionable 2020 election. “The President of the United States deserves universal condemnation for what was clearly, in my opinion, impeachable conduct; pressuring the Vice President to violate his oath to the constitution to count alternate electors,” a masked Roy said on the House floor shortly after the January 6 Capitol protests.
“His open and public pressure, courageously rejected by the Vice President, purposely seeded the false belief among the president’s supporters, including those assembled on January 6, that there was a legal path to the president,” Roy continued. “It was foreseeable and reckless to sow a narrative that could lead to rioting and violence by loyal supporters whipped into a frenzy.”
Chip Roy did not vote to impeach Trump on either occasion, though he clearly does not view the former president favorably.