Despite growing pressure from Donald Trump to help overturn his election loss, Vice President Mike Pence plans not to interfere with the election certification when presiding in Congress on Wednesday, advisers say.
Trump ramped up pressure on Pence on Tuesday to block Congress' certification of the November election results in an ongoing attempt to stay in power, after dozens of lawsuits by his campaign challenging election results failed in US courts.
But the vice president, a loyal lieutenant during the four years of Trump's often chaotic presidency, has no plans to attempt to do so, even as he seeks to show support for the Republican president's quest.
Pence is set to preside over a joint session of Congress on Wednesday as it receives the results of the state-by-state Electoral College that determines the winner of presidential elections.
President-elect Joe Biden beat Trump 306-232 in the Electoral College and, in the popular vote, by more than 7 million ballots. Trump has declined to concede the election.
US states have already certified the results, and Pence's role on Wednesday as president of the Senate is to "open all the certificates," in the presence of the House of Representatives and the Senate, the U.S. Constitution says.
Trump has suggested Pence could do more than that.
"The Vice President has the power to reject fraudulently chosen electors," Trump wrote in a tweet on Tuesday, his latest unfounded suggestion the election was marred by widespread fraud.
Pence told Trump on Tuesday he did not believe he had the power to block the certification, according to a source familiar with the subject.
Trump's tweet came after pointed remarks at a campaign rally for Republican US Senate incumbents in Georgia on Monday night, in which he expressed hope Pence would intervene.
"If he doesn't come through, I won't like him quite as much," Trump said.
About a dozen Republican senators, as well as dozens of Republicans in the House, plan to object to the certification of the Electoral College results in Congress on Wednesday.
The move has virtually no chance of overturning Biden's victory.