A Jan. 6 committee witness on Thursday called out Democrats, specifically naming committee member Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-M.D., for objecting to certifying previous election results.
Former Judge J. Michael Luttig, an informal advisor to then-Vice President Mike Pence, and Greg Jacob, former counsel to the VP, testified at the third public hearing, which focused on former President Donald Trump’s efforts to convince Pence to not certify the electoral college votes on Jan. 6.
Trump’s legal team, including attorney John Eastman, viewed the 12th Amendment as giving a constitutional path forward by allowing the vice president to reject the votes and send it back to state legislatures for debate.
“We had all seen that in Congress, in 2000, in 2004, in 2016, there had been objections raised to various states, and those had even been debated in 2004,” Jacob told Congress on Thursday. All objections were notably years in which a Republican won the presidential election.
“And so here you have an amendment that says nothing about objecting or rejecting, and yet we did have some recent practice of that happening within the terms of the electoral canon,” he said.
Luttig was more direct about attempts to overturn election results.
“It was the historical precedent in the years and with the vice presidents that I named, as Congressman Raskin understands well,” he said, specifically calling out the Maryland Democrat who attempted to prevent Trump from becoming president in 2016.
“Scholars, before 2020, would’ve used that historical precedent to argue – not that Vice President Pence could overturn the 2020 election by accepting noncertified state electoral votes – but they would have made arguments to some substantive, not merely procedural, authority possessed by the vice president of the United States on the statutorily prescribed day for counting the electoral college votes,” Luttig explained, adding, “This is constitutional mischief.”
Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-CA, then turned the discussion to defend previous objections from Democrats by showing a video of former Vice President Al Gore saying that it is more important to “uphold the noble traditions of America’s democracy.”