Pence Aide Warned Against Blocking Electoral College Count, Memo Show

Former Vice President Mike Pence’s chief counsel laid out in a memo the day before Jan. 6, 2021,

The vice president would violate federal law if he bowed to pressure from President Donald J. Trump to interfere with the certification of Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory.

The three-page memo, obtained by Politico and confirmed as authentic by The New York Times,

Included arguments from the chief counsel, Greg Jacob, that Mr. Pence could find himself in a legally precarious situation if he decided to block the certification of the Electoral College results

A lawyer advising Mr. Trump, John Eastman, had insisted that Mr. Pence had the power to take both of those actions, emphasizing the 10-day delay as Jan. 6 grew closer

Mr. Eastman pressed his claims in a meeting with Mr. Pence and Mr. Jacob in the Oval Office on Jan. 4.

But Mr. Pence, who in the weeks after the election told Mr. Trump that he did not believe he had such power but would continue researching the matter

Mr. Jacob wrote in the memo that Mr. Pence would most likely be overruled by the courts if he made such a move.

“In a best-case scenario in which the courts refused to get involved, the vice president would likely find himself in an isolated standoff against both houses of Congress,

As well as most or all of the applicable state legislatures, with no neutral arbiter available to break the impasse,” Mr. Jacob wrote in the memo.