Pence declined to back Gohmert-led effort to upend election, lawyers indicate

But in a motion to expedite proceedings, Gohmert and the electors revealed that their lawyers had reached out to Pence’s counsel in the Office of the Vice President to attempt to reach agreement before going to court.

“In the teleconference, Plaintiffs’ counsel made a meaningful attempt to resolve the underlying legal issues by agreement, including advising the Vice President’s counsel that Plaintiffs intended to seek immediate injunctive relief in the event the parties did not agree,” according to Gohmert’s filing. “Those discussions were not successful in reaching an agreement and this lawsuit was filed.”

On Tuesday evening, U.S. District Court Judge Jeremy Kernodle of the Eastern District of Texas agreed to partially grant the request for an expedited schedule, calling for Pence to issue a response to the lawsuit by Dec. 31 at 5 p.m. and for Gohmert to issue a reply to Pence by Jan. 1 at 9 a.m. Kernodle did not agree to hold a hearing though and said none would be scheduled “absent further notice from the Court.” Kernodle also ordered Gohmert and his fellow plaintiffs to immediately send a copy of the order to an attorney for Pence, the Department of Justice, and the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Texas.

Gohmert and the electors told Kernodle they needed an expedited schedule that would result in a ruling no later than Jan. 4, so they have an opportunity to appeal ahead of the Jan. 6 session of Congress.

Pence still has not publicly weighed in on his plans for presiding over the Jan. 6 session, when Congress will count electoral votes expected to certify Biden’s victory. He also has not publicly commented on Trump’s repeated calls to reverse the results of the democratic process and install himself for a second term.

Gohmert’s attorneys in the case, some of whom have handled some of Trump’s lawsuits intended to overturn Biden’s victory in key swing states, indicated they’ve since been in touch with lawyers in the civil division of the Department of Justice about the administration’s formal response to the suit. Further calls were scheduled for later Tuesday.