Mike Pence
Mike PenceReuters

U.S. Vice President Pence Wednesday said he doesn’t believe he has “unilateral authority” to decide between competing slates of electors.

“It is my considered judgment that my oath to support and defend the Constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not,” Pence said in a statement released just before a joint session of Congress began.

Some experts have said that they do not believe a vice president has much power during the Joint Session of Congress, calling his role mostly ceremonial.

But Trump and his campaign have asserted that Pence does have some degree of power during the Joint Session.

"All he has to do is send back to the states to recertify, and we become President and you are the happiest people.

"I actually I just spoke to Mike. I said 'Mike, that doesn't take courage. What takes courage is to do nothing - that takes courage.' And then we're stuck with a president who lost the election by a lot, and we have to live with that for four more years. We're just not gonna let that happen."

Pence also released a letter in which he reaffirms his commitment to "support and defend the constitution," ending with the words, "So help me God":

Pence's letter
Pence's letterScreenshot