Mike Pence breaks silence to criticize 2020 election

Former Vice President Pence on Wednesday criticized the 2020 election in his first extended written comments since leaving office in January.

Pence, who was presiding over a joint session of Congress when its certification of the Electoral College results was interrupted by a mob of former President Trump’s supporters, said there were “significant voting irregularities” and “numerous instances of officials setting aside state election law” in the 2020 presidential election.

The former vice president, a target of some in the mob who called for his hanging, said those events had “deprived the American people of a substantive discussion in Congress about election integrity in America.”

The remarks were offered by Pence in an op-ed published by the Daily Signal, a publication run by the conservative Heritage Foundation. The context was an attack on H.R. 1, a voting rights bill the House is expected to pass on Wednesday, that Pence said would “increase opportunities for election fraud.”

Trump and his allies have repeatedly argued that massive fraud contributed to his loss to President Biden. State officials in battleground states have rejected those assertions, as have courts, including a Supreme Court with a 6-3 conservative majority that includes three Trump nominees.

The Justice Department under Trump also did not find evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election that would have altered the results in any states.

False claims about widespread fraud fueled the mob that attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6, endangering the lives of Pence and lawmakers in both parties and leaving five people dead.

The former vice president argues in the op-ed that measures included in the voting rights bill, formally known as the For the People Act, would “trample the First Amendment, further erode confidence in our elections, and forever dilute the votes of legally qualified eligible voters.”