Vice President Mike Pence continues to prove himself a far more adept politician than President Trump.

Whereas many Republicans are caught in the middle of Trump’s continued efforts to overturn the results of the presidential election, Pence has managed to sidestep the issue almost entirely. Even now, as Trump and his allies gear up to challenge the certification of the Electoral College’s votes for President-elect Joe Biden, Pence is making his position clear: He will not be the middleman.

This was more or less the message Pence sent to Trump’s allies on Thursday when Justice Department lawyers representing him asked a federal judge to toss out a lawsuit filed against him by Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert. The lawsuit alleged that Pence alone has the constitutional power to choose which electors’ votes to count. In other words, Gohmert wanted Pence to disregard the Electoral College and choose new Trump-friendly electors.

Gohmert’s lawsuit defied both constitutional and common sense, as Pence’s lawyers made clear. First, why sue Pence when Gohmert’s gripe was with Congress’s Electoral Counting Act? Pence cannot do anything about a law passed on Capitol Hill. So not only did Gohmert sue the “wrong defendant,” as Pence’s lawyers put it, but the entire premise of Gohmert’s lawsuit was a “walking legal contradiction.”

Furthermore, Gohmert’s attempt to make Pence the final arbiter of the presidential election was blatantly unconstitutional. Pence’s only responsibility regarding the election is to open and read aloud the “certified” electoral votes when Congress meets for its joint session. He cannot create a new Electoral College just because he dislikes the way the original one voted. (Gohmert would certainly agree if it were Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’s role in question.)

Pence’s lawyers also pointed out the irony of Gohmert’s argument, arguing that if it were accepted by the court, Gohmert’s position would “deprive him of his opportunity as a member of the House under the Electoral Count Act to raise objections to the counting of electoral votes,” which is what Gohmert and dozens of other House Republicans plan to do on Jan. 6.

Pence’s reasoning is sound, and so are his motivations. Trump’s attempts to overturn the results of the presidential election will fail, but not before he does real and lasting damage to his own legacy and our election process. Pence surely knows this, though he’s too loyal to Trump to admit as much publicly. But by remaining uninvolved, Pence will at least steer clear of the ship when Trump inevitably sinks it.