Vice President Pence has cancelled his planned January 6th trip to Israel, the US embassy in Jerusalem confirmed on Wednesday.
As National File reported earlier this month, Pence was originally scheduled to begin a tour of Israel, Bahrain, and Poland, on January 6th, with other countries potentially added to the list. The trip would begin almost immediately after he would count the Electoral College votes in the joint session of Congress, timing which an ally of Pence told Politico was “anything but coincidental.”
The trip had not been officially confirmed by the US Embassy in Israel, but police in the country had been preparing for the trip. Earlier this month, Regional Cooperation Minister Ofir Akunis, a member of PM Netanyahu’s Likud party, had in fact confirmed the visit, but would not commit to the specific dates. “It’s likely that during the trip itself there will be a declaration of normalization” with another Muslim country, Akunis said.
However, Pence’s trip was confirmed cancelled by the US Embassy in Jerusalem on Wednesday, after speculation mounted that the trip to Israel was not due to creating peace in the region, but simply to serve as a distraction from election integrity issues in America, and allow Pence “to put distance between himself and Trump’s complaints about the election outcome that are likely to intensify” if Biden is certified on January 6th.
The Vice President has been notably quiet on the issue of election integrity. Pence spoke at TPUSA’s annual SAS conference in Florida last week, and instead of focusing his speech on election integrity like many other speakers chose to do, he mostly skipped over it, dedicating a mere 24 seconds of his 30 minute speech to the subject, couching it each time in an encouragement for Republicans to “hold the line” in Georgia.
His team had also rejected multiple requests for comment from National File reporters regarding the #PenceCard memo, which suggested that the Vice President not only had the authority, but the requirement, to reject Electoral College votes from states with fraudulent elections by December 23rd. Pence still has power as President of the Senate to assist any election integrity efforts that will occur on January 6th.