Ahead of a President's inauguration, the Vice President oversees a joint congressional session where the body acknowledges the validity of each state's certified electoral votes. If the validity of the electoral votes is challenged by both a House and Senate member, each of the two chambers votes separately on whether to count them.
However, Trump falsely insisted that Pence could unilaterally throw out electoral votes of swing states Trump lost, constitutional processes be damned.
In reality, the Vice President's powers during the joint session are purely administrative.
Vice President Mike Pence also arrived at this conclusion, writing in a letter to Congress on January 6, the day of the joint session:
"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 letter was released as Trump appeared at a nearby rally outside the White House, where he told his supporters he hoped Pence would do "the right thing" before instructing them to walk to the Capitol and make their opposition known. As history will remember, the mob of pro-Trump extremists stormed the U.S. Capitol, upending the joint session and calling to "Hang Mike Pence!"
Pence has acknowledged his and Trump's so-called disagreement on the Vice President's powers, but the former Veep has continued to praise the Trump administration even as he's perceived to be a RINO ("Republican In Name Only") by Trump supporters.
Trump, unsurprisingly, hasn't reciprocated.
In unaired recordings from a March ABC News interview released by Axios, Trump defended the rioters who called for Pence's execution, promoting further delusions that Pence could unilaterally throw out electoral votes.
When reminded by ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl that rioters chanted "Hang Mike Pence," Trump responded:
"It's common sense, Jon. It's common sense that you're supposed to protect. How can you — if you know a vote is fraudulent, right? — how can you pass on a fraudulent vote to Congress? How can you do that? And I'm telling you: 50/50, it's right down the middle for the top constitutional scholars when I speak to them. Anybody I spoke to — almost all of them at least pretty much agree, and some very much agree with me — because he's passing on a vote that he knows is fraudulent.
How can you pass a vote that you know is fraudulent? Now, when I spoke to him, I really talked about all of the fraudulent things that happened during the election. I didn't talk about the main point, which is the legislatures did not approve — five states. The legislatures did not approve all of those changes that made the difference between a very easy win for me in the states, or a loss that was very close, because the losses were all very close."
Trump also said he wasn't worried for Pence's safety because he was supposedly in "very good shape."
The exchange generated heavy buzz online.
Trump's incitement of the riots and continued lack of remorse has people wishing he'd be held to account.
Trump is considered a frontrunner for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, should he decide to run.