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Elise Stefanik Says She Wouldn’t ‘Have Done What Mike Pence Did’ During 2020 Election

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


House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik, the No. 3 GOP leader in the chamber, appears to be making her case to become leading 2024 primary contender Donald Trump’s running mate.

On Thursday, the New York Republican strongly suggested she would not have certified the 2020 election results as president of the Senate if she were Trump’s vice president instead of Mike Pence.

“I would not have done what Mike Pence did. I don’t think that was the right approach,” Stefanik told CNN. “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.

“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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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.”

Cheney responded and linked to a statement that Stefanik made on the day of the Capitol riot.

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“This is what ⁦⁦@EliseStefanik said, in a rare moment of honesty, about the January 6 attack on our Capitol,” Cheney wrote. “One day she will have to explain how and why she morphed into a total crackpot. History, and our children, deserve to know.”

In her previous statement, Stefanik referred to the riots as “a truly tragic day for America.”

Stefanik succeeded Cheney as conference chairwoman following Cheney’s removal from the position due to her vote to impeach Trump, claiming he provoked the riots when, in fact, he implored supporters attending his speech that day to demonstrate “peacefully” at the Capitol.

A year later, Stefanik released a statement ahead of the one-year anniversary of Jan. 6, calling for transparency and emphasizing the Capitol’s lack of security that day.

“It is unacceptable that one year later the American people still do not have answers as to why the Capitol was left so vulnerable and how to ensure it never happens again,” she wrote.

In a statement to The Hill, a spokesperson for Stefanik dismissed Cheney’s remark.

“Liz Cheney’s only remaining relevance is that she will soon have to answer for her role in deleting and hiding evidence from the investigation into the sham January 6 Select Committee,” the spokesperson said.

Earlier, Fox News reported that the digital forensics firm hired by Loudermilk’s committee discovered 117 were both deleted and encrypted on Jan. 1, 2023, just a few days before Republicans took over the committee and Thompson’s team was required to hand over all materials.

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