Bob Orleck: What is Vice President Pence to do? Reading the tea leaves

Editor’s note: This commentary is by Bob Orleck, a retired pharmacist and former Vermont assistant attorney general under Vermont Attorney General Jerome Diamond.

For a quiet, faithful, humble man who has for over four years been in the shadows of a dynamic, outspoken bigger-than-life person that Donald Trump is, this time for Vice President Michael Pence must be disquieting in ways and yet exciting beyond imagination. He alone is in the position to make the greatest decision that arguably has been made by any modern leader ever. Surely it will be more consequential than even the great and wonderful things President Trump has done in his four years in office, for in this one moment in time, the Vice President’s decision will establish what the future will be of the greatest nation on earth and whether that nation will be led to greater things by President Trump or whether we will slip into the depths of despair embracing socialism and communism. That will be the result if the stolen election of Joe Biden, a dishonest, lying, unproductive, pretender, now a puppet of the far left whose soul is owned by China, the nation that has worked for years to supplant America as the leader of the world, becomes America’s president.

U.S. Department of Defense

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence

I believe the Vice President is a good an honorable man but there are others who say he is part of the swamp no different than the many insiders of the “deep state” who have shocked us by their disloyalty to America and their work in undermining our duly elected president. Mike Pence is not one of them and he will prove that tomorrow, can and will do the right thing to save America and by doing that the world. He is the man for our time, and he will rise to that occasion and go down in history as the man who saved our nation.

So, what can he do? Many say his role is limited to opening the certificates from the states who have submitted their certified electors for counting and nothing more. Why would the framers put the second-in-command in such a secretarial role? They foresaw that there would be problems in some future election, and they built this final firewall to enable a man, chosen by the people to be the one able to stop the insanity and pull the nation back from monumental and destructive action. Little needs to be said to realize we are at that point in time so I will leave that part to you to recognize the danger and the need to stop it.

So, what will he do? I have been reading the tea leaves so to speak and the many articles written as well, and this is what I conclude.

He could open the certificates from the states and allow the challenges to be filed. But in the end, this would prove futile in changing the results since the House is controlled by Democrats and there are cowardly Republicans in the Senate who have defected. The challenges must be presented in writing by at least one senator and one House of Representatives member. At that point, the meeting will recess to allow the chambers of Congress to meet for two hours, debate the matter and vote if the challenge will be allowed. If either chamber says “no,” then the challenge fails, and Biden is president. So, why even go to the trouble if the result will be the same, that Biden will be declared to be president? Some say that is all Pence can do, and it is the right thing to do to ensure that this will never happen again. Those are just empty words. If this can stand, the trust and integrity of our system of government will be shaken to the core. Biden will be president and 75 million Americans and most of the world will still believe and know he stole an election. The America of freedom and honest and fair elections to the world will be gone. The trust lost there will lead to other mistrust and challenges from home and abroad. America will have been mortally wounded and will have no peace. The Vice President will not let that happen.

He will not just stand there and open the certificates. And if he does something bold, who can challenge him? He oversees this meeting and has plenary power over the process. The Congress cannot stop him. There would be nothing they could decide. Only the courts could intervene and if that happens, the whole picture including the massive fraud evidence and the violation of state law and the Constitution in the election procedures by the offending states will be aired. That would be a good thing. It would affirm that the Vice President did the right thing.

I have heard some talk about things that I believe have led to great confusion among many. They seem to believe that in some way with the challenges, the election will be thrown into the House of Representatives at which time each state that votes can cast one vote according to the make-up of their legislature. With Republicans holding 26 out of the 50 legislatures throughout the nation they seem to believe that Donald Trump will be selected and will be the next president of the United States. That is not going to happen. Joe Biden has over 270 electoral votes and it is only when a candidate for the presidency does not receive most of the countable electoral votes that such a scenario of throwing it into the House of Representatives can occur. That would be more likely to happen in a case where there were three different people from different parties receiving electoral votes and none of them getting the 270.

Some think Pence might select the electors that the GOP in the offending states offered. That would be possible but unwise and would further divide an already irrationally separated population, many who have no way to evaluate the truth of the theft of the election thanks to the misguiding of social media and the major news media.

He could try to delay the meeting to allow for an audit of the elections in these states. That will go nowhere and at the end the same discontent and mistrust would be there, and the result would be the same.

What he can and hopefully will do is recognize the illegality of the elections in some of the states, refuse to accept their electors and order the count of electors without those states since there was no legal election. Challenge? Of course, there would be! There would be gnashing of teeth, immediate filing of lawsuits and attempted intervention by the judiciary, most likely the Supreme Court. He might open some, reject some and could even give those procedurally offending states the opportunity to cure the defects in their procedures by pausing the January 6th session to give their legislatures, those with the competing GOP electors offered to the Congress, the ability to exercise their Constitutional right to look at the way it happened in their state, correct the error and exercise their exclusive and Constitutional right to make the selection of the electors that should be counted. In other words, they could reject the ones certified by the states and submit new certificates that the Senate President will open to be counted.

By rejecting certain states their electoral votes would not be considered in calculating those needed to win, and if enough are rejected in this way, Biden’s totals drop below the 232 that Trump owns and President Trump is re-elected. There is support for saying this from the 1864 election when Abraham Lincoln was elected by the Electoral College that did not calculate those states electoral votes that had seceded from the Union and those that Congress refused to recognize.

In the end, the world’s future as affected by man, rests on Michael Pence and what he will do. I believe he will either reject the offending states or pause the January 6th meeting and give the legislatures their rightful opportunity to revisit the issue of which are the appropriate and chosen electors. Not even a fearful court could see anything wrong with that since it allows for the proper functioning of the law and the Constitution. The nation would be saved, the rule of law preserved, and the work will go on of making America great again. We then can get back to doing the purpose that God willed for America when he established her in 1776.

Images courtesy of The White House and U.S. Department of Defense

2 thoughts on “Bob Orleck: What is Vice President Pence to do? Reading the tea leaves

  1. Okay Bob, I’ll bite. I disagree with you for two reasons.

    First, let’s think about the precedence you are setting up by suggesting Mike Pence, as President of the Senate, should discard whatever elector certificates he doesn’t like. Seriously? What would then prevent Kamala Harris or any other future President of the Senate from doing the same thing? No future election would be secure.

    Second, let’s talk legal facts. Mike Pence, as President of the Senate, has ONE explicit sentence in the United State’s Constitution that grants him any power/responsibility when it comes to elector certificates that are authorized solely within the jurisdiction of the respective states. That one sentence is contained in Article II, §1. It’s pretty simple. It’s very explicit. It reads: 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.” There have been no court cases interpreting the above sentence in some different fashion than what it actually reads. So it stands as it reads.

    So with just that one authorizing sentence in mind, what is his job? First, open “ALL” ballots. Second, do it in front of Congress. That’s all there is. The Constitution gives him no other power. Period. Nothing about that sentence authorizes him to pick and choose what certificates he opens. “All” is a pretty plain statement that anyone can understand.

    Yet President Trump clearly stated last night that Mike Pence would be acting in violation of the Constitution if he did not reject certain elector certificates. You are arguing here that President Trump is correct.

    Moments ago the news announced that Mike Pence just sent a letter to Congress acknowledging the above sentence makes his position merely “ceremonial” in nature. Thus he has no power to reject elector certificates.

    Somebody is wrong here in their interpretation of this one sentence in the Constitution. Seems to me it’s not Mike Pence. We Republicans take pride in calling ourselves the party that guards the Constitution. The longer we try to stretch it into saying what we want it to so we can win, the quicker we are painted with the brush that suggests it’s a “living document.” So, respectfully, I disagree with your contention.

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