Congress begins electoral vote count as Pence pushes back on Trump claims
23:20, Wednesday, 06 January, 2021
Electoral College votes are being officially counted Wednesday in a joint session of Congress, where scores of Republicans are expected to object to votes being counted from numerous states that Joe Biden won amid pressure from President Donald Trump.
The first objection, to Arizona's vote, took place minutes into the proceeding. The objections, inspired by Trump's false claims of a "rigged" election, threaten to turn a typically procedural half-hour event into an ugly daylong spectacle that's already divided Republicans. Trump has also put a spotlight on Vice President Mike Pence, who will preside over Wednesday's proceedings in a largely symbolic role, to essentially overturn the results.
Pence pushed back in a statement just before the proceedings started. "It is my considered judgment that my oath to support and defend the Constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not," the statement said.