Like so many of our legislators, Mike Pence was afraid for his life in the afternoon of January 6th. Shortly after the Capitol was breached, Trump tweeted that Pence had failed to do what he was supposed to do for Trump, which was to not count the electoral votes that had been contested by members of Congress. This put the vice president in grave jeopardy from an already frenzied mob and he was evacuated from the Senate chamber.
Tim Giebels, the lead special agent in charge of the former vice president’s protective detail, reportedly “twice asked Pence to evacuate the Capitol” to which Mr Pence refused, The Post said.
“I’m not leaving the Capitol,” he reportedly told Mr Giebels. “The last thing the vice president wanted was the people attacking the Capitol to see his 20-car motorcade fleeing. That would only vindicate their insurrection.”
Here’s where things get hinky:
As the chaos continued to unfold, Mr Pence was said to have been ordered to leave the office and was escorted to a “subterranean area that rioters couldn’t reach” and towards an armoured limousine.
Mr Pence then reportedly outright refused to get into the vehicle, saying his security detail would ignore his demand not to leave the building and would instead “take off” against his wishes.
“I’m not getting in the car, Tim,” Mr Pence replied. “I trust you, Tim, but you’re not driving the car. If I get in that vehicle, you guys are taking off. I’m not getting in the car.”
Pence clearly thought the safety of the Capitol building was far preferable to egress by car. And he was worried he would lose his trusted security detail if he got in the armored vehicle.
There’s another version of why he wouldn’t get in the car. According to RawStory, MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace said that sources with knowledge of the day said Mr Pence “feared a conspiracy, feared that the Secret Service would aid Trump and his ultimate aims that day”. Perhaps he feared he would be leaving the Capitol, but would not be returned to complete his duties, under the guise of safety issues.
So Pence knew what Trump’s ultimate aims were, but did those aims include a contingency to neutralize a Vice President who would not help carry out his plan? Good question. Chuck Grassley bizarrely stated on the 5th that Pence was not going to make the count, and would “listen to debate”.
Now this here…reeks of conspiracy. It could be after all, that the Eastman play was no joke, and my Keystone Kops version of the coup is off base.