President Donald Trump reportedly was not pleased the Department of Justice responded on Vice President Mike Pence's behalf to shoot down a lawsuit aiming to expand Pence's powers during the electoral vote certification.
Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, filed a failed lawsuit Tuesday saying Pence could overturn the election results all by himself. President-elect Joe Biden defeated Trump in the election.
However, Pence's lawyer, Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Coghlan, pointed out Thursday night that in order to sue, the plaintiff and the defendant must be in opposition. Here, Gohmert and Pence's interests are aligned, per the Daily Mail.
New York Times White House correspondent Maggie Haberman tweeted the president was not happy with Coghlan's actions.
"POTUS was not pleased that DoJ responded on Pence's behalf in the Gohmert et al lawsuit trying to expand the VP's procedural role on Jan 6, per 3 ppl briefed. POTUS called Pence this AM to express some surprise about it; he has been more vocal with others about his displeasure," Haberman tweeted Friday.
Pence himself had asked the court to reject Gohmert's lawsuit.
In a new filing Friday afternoon, Gohmert argued Pence simply was more than simply a "glorified envelope-opener in chief" during the electoral vote certification.
"Under the Constitution, he has the authority to conduct that proceeding as he sees fit," Gohmert wrote. "He may count elector votes certified by a state's executive, or he can prefer a competing slate of duly qualified electors. He may ignore all electors from a certain state. That is the power bestowed upon him by the Constitution."
As he had done after the initial filing, Texas U.S. District Judge Jeremy Kernodle threw out Gohmert's suit on Friday night.
Gohmert argued the 1887 Electoral Count Act violated the 12th Amendment, which outlines the procedure for electing the president and vice president. The amendment, ratified in 1804, says the "President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall be counted."
The lawsuit argued the "President of the Senate," which is Pence, has the sole authority to determine which votes to count.
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