‘No pressure involved’ in phone call to Arizona governor over 2020 election results

WASHINGTON — Former Vice President Mike Pence confirmed he called former Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey at Donald Trump’s request to discuss the 2020 election results, but insisted Trump had never pushed him to find evidence to back up his unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud.

“I checked in, not just with Governor Ducey, but with other governors and states that were going through the legal process of reviewing their election results,” Pence said in an interview that aired on Sunday’s “Face the Nation.” CBS News. “But there was no pressure. I was calling to get an update. I passed that information on to the president. It was nothing more or less than that.”

Trump lost Arizona to current President Joe Biden by less than 11,000 votes. When asked if he had been pressured by Trump to push Ducey to change the Arizona election results, Pence said no.

“No, I don’t remember any pressure,” Pence said.

‘Look, the president and I, things have come to a head eventually,’ he said, referring to Trump’s demands to overturn election results in his capacity as vice president while overseeing vote certification. elections by Congress.

“I did my duty under the Constitution that day by presiding over a joint session of Congress following the chaos and rioting,” Pence said. “But in the days of November and December, it was an orderly process. You’ll recall that there were over 60 lawsuits going on, that the states were doing the proper reviews and that those contacts were nothing more than this.”

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Former Vice President Mike Pence

Former Vice President Mike Pence

The Washington Post reported on Saturday that Trump, in a phone call late in 2020, tried to pressure Ducey to nullify the state presidential election results, arguing that if enough fraudulent votes could be found, that would make up for his small loss in Arizona.

Trump also repeatedly asked Pence to call Ducey and urge him to find the evidence to support Trump’s fraud allegations, the Post reported. Pence called Ducey several times to discuss the election, the newspaper said, although he did not follow Trump’s instructions to pressure the governor.

In his CBS interview, Pence insisted that Trump had never pressured him to try to influence a state governor.

“It was about gathering information, finding out what was going on,” he said.

Pence testified in April for several hours before a federal grand jury investigating Trump and his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, uprising, when a crowd of Trump supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol in a bid to protest the endorsement formal by Congress of Biden’s victory over Trump.

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Pence’s testimony came hours after a federal appeals court rejected an offer by Trump’s lawyers to block Pence’s appearance.

In Georgia, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has signaled that Trump could be indicted this summer for his attempts to nullify the state’s election results.

In the weeks following the election, Trump’s campaign enlisted Republican voters as replacements for official voters in Georgia and other states Biden won. Trump also personally called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on January 2, 2021, begging him to “find” the votes he needed to win the state.

Trump already faces criminal charges in Florida and New York. In June, a federal grand jury in Florida indicted him on 37 counts related to handling classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago resort. A state grand jury in New York indicted him in April on 34 counts of falsifying business records in an attempt to conceal an extramarital affair. He pleaded not guilty in both cases.

Michael Collins covers the White House. Follow him on Twitter @mcollinsNEWS.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Pence confirms calling Arizona governor at Trump’s request circa 2020

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