In the latest stunning development in Republican attempts to upend a democratic presidential election, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro falsely insisted Saturday night that Vice President Mike Pence can arbitrarily postpone Inauguration Day.
The Constitution clearly states that Inauguration Day is Jan. 20, and Donald Trump and Pence’s terms end at noon that day.
Navarro in an interview on Fox News’ “Justice With Judge Jeanine” called for yet another investigation into the presidential election to probe baseless allegations of fraud, and appeared to refer to a demand Saturday for a 10-day audit of election returns by 11 GOP senators.
If an investigation continues past Jan. 20, the inauguration will simply have to be put off, Navarro said.
“Vice President Pence, he has the authority to give that 10-day window to do what needs to get done,” Navarro insisted, as host Jeanine Pirro nodded. “I cannot imagine when he looks at the facts he won’t vote the right way on that.”
Pirro claimed that the “10-day window” can change the date for certification of electoral votes that’s supposed to happen Wednesday. But, she added: “January 20 cannot be changed; that’s constitutional.”
“It can be changed, actually,” Navarro insisted. “We can go past that date. We can go past that date, if we need to. And we have got to get this right … We need to take [the election] back for the people.”
Pirro piped up: “Oh! OK.”
Navarro ironically explained to Pirro: “The one thing we shouldn’t be strategically gaming is the foundation of this republic.”
The 20th Amendment of the Constitution, Section 1, very clearly states: “The terms of the President and the Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January ... and the terms of their successors shall then begin.”
In one small aside, Navarro, whose salary is paid by American taxpayers, is not supposed to be campaigning for Trump and bashing President-elect Joe Biden’s election under the terms of the Hatch Act. He has violated the law before, but without any consequences, so is clearly unconcerned about it.
Peter Navarro says Pence has the authority to give them a ten day window and also says the inauguration date can be rescheduled pic.twitter.com/ZU22bp622d
— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) January 3, 2021
Twitter critics predictably went bonkers.
What banana republic is Navarro living in?
— Katie Phang (@KatiePhang) January 3, 2021
LOL - It's in the 20th Amendment that it is held on January 20th. The only thing that can alter it is a death of the President-elect, and then the VP-elect becomes President. If there is an ongoing dispute over Pres-elect, Speaker Pelosi becomes President.
— Aaron Astor (@AstorAaron) January 3, 2021
Hey @RealPNavarro Trumps term ENDS on Jan 20th at NOON as outlined in the 20th Amendment! Pence has NO authority here whatsoever, but if y’all want to play with this fire, we would have ACTING PRESIDENT PELOSI!
— EAS (@ellescott1) January 3, 2021
What is happening?
— Feral Shouting Yam (@pamboy712) January 3, 2021
Navarro seems to be their expert on everything from Covid to voting to the Constitution. What's his job again?
— Colleen Vallese (@colleen848) January 3, 2021
Has he ever read the 20th Amendment, which explicitly states “The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January...”
These folks are the Keystone Cops of coup coups.
— Steven J. Frisch (@stevenjfrisch) January 3, 2021
I stopped reading after “Peter Navarro says” 😉
— Mama_C2 🇺🇸 (@mama_c2) January 3, 2021
I’m astounded that not one person has been charged with seditious conspiracy. Don’t tell that’s not what’s happening. Have our laws been completely tossed out the window for Trump et al?
— Jamie Schler (@lifesafeast) January 3, 2021
I'm back from the future.
Buy new sunglasses.
Your future is bright. pic.twitter.com/3Cimc4tp4z
— Daniel Paul (@DanielP58009529) January 3, 2021
Also on HuffPost
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.