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Elise Stefanik: ‘I Wouldn’t Have Done What Mike Pence Did’ Following 2020 Election

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik of New York appears to be making a strong case to become Donald Trump’s 2024 running mate, judging by her response during a CNN interview regarding his first vice president, Mike Pence.

During her interview last week, Stefanik strongly suggested she would not have certified the 2020 election results as president of the Senate if she were Trump’s vice president at the time.

“I would not have done what Mike Pence did. I don’t think that was the right approach,” Stefanik told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins. “I specifically stand by what I said on the House floor.”

She refused to vote to certify the 2020 election results, arguing that there was “unconstitutional overreach” in states like Pennsylvania, where election laws were altered by state officials and courts, not the legislature, as called for in the U.S. Constitution, prior to the November elections. Officials at the time cited the COVID pandemic as their basis for allowing widespread mail-in balloting, which many Republicans said were unconstitutional changes. Federal courts, however, refused to intervene.

“I think it’s very important that we continue to stand up for the Constitution and have legal and secure elections, which we did not have in 2020,” Stefanik said.

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Stefanik is a rising star in the party and has the full support of Trump.

After then-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy ordered committees to launch an official impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, Trump spoke with her last fall.

Stefanik said they had spoken shortly after McCarthy’s announcement at the Capitol about the impeachment inquiry, according to a source familiar with the conversation.

“I speak to President Trump a lot. I spoke to him today,” Stefanik told reporters, adding that she believes the Biden family’s business dealings are “the biggest political corruption scandal of our lifetime.”

As a senior member of the Republican leadership in the House, Stefanik’s meeting with Trump demonstrates the former president’s continued sway over conservative Republicans, The Hill reported.

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The New York Republican has been one of the most consistent advocates for Trump in the House and has consistently been mentioned as a possible running mate for Trump in 2024. She was also an early supporter of impeachment proceedings against Biden among House Republican leadership.

Politico reported at the time, however, that Trump also had dinner with Georgia GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, with the topic of impeachment being discussed as well. Greene has also been mentioned as a potential running mate.

Last month, Stefanik (R-N.Y.) tore into the Nancy Pelosi-picked Select Committee on January 6 for reportedly deleting or password-protecting some two terabytes worth of data just days before Republicans took over the House a year ago.

Earlier this week, the House Administration Committee’s Oversight Subcommittee, responsible for investigating both the 2021 Capitol riot and the prior Democrat-led inquiry into the riot, discovered that during the chamber’s transition to GOP control in January 2023, over 100 files were encrypted and deleted from hard drives, the New York Post reported.

The select committee was expected to provide Republican Chairman Barry Loudermilk of Georgia with four terabytes of archived data. The outlet, however, reported that his committee only received two terabytes of data.

In an X post, Stefanik ripped the committee, of which former Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) was a member.

“As I said from day one, Nancy Pelosi’s sham January 6th Committee was illegitimate and unconstitutional. It should come as a surprise to no one that Bennie Thompson and Liz Cheney’s fake committee illegally deleted records of their sham investigation and obstructed justice,” Stefanik wrote in a post to X Tuesday. “The American people deserve full transparency.”

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