ABC News is reporting that Mike Pence was thinking about skipping the January 6, 2021 certification of the 2020 presidential election until his son, a Marine, convinced him otherwise during a Christmas 2020 family vacation in Colorado. All of this came out during Pence’s testimony before special counsel Jack Smith.
Here is a taste of ABC News’s coverage:
In a meeting at the White House in late December 2020, as many as 20 House Republicans erupted in applause after Pence told them to “get your evidence together” and assured them “we [will] get our day in Congress,” with an opportunity for all of the evidence to be heard before the election would be certified, sources said he told Smith’s team.
Pence told investigators he was then still “very open to the possibility that there was voter fraud” in the election, and he was focused on following the facts and the law, according to the sources.
At the same time, Trump was privately pressing Pence to reject certain votes at the Jan. 6 proceedings and block certification of the election — and Trump even suggested to Pence that perhaps he should skip the session altogether, Pence allegedly told Smith’s team. But, according to sources, Pence told investigators that he “clearly and repeatedly” emphasized to Trump that rejecting certain votes would violate the Constitution.
“I told him I thought there was no idea more un-American than the idea that any one person could decide what electoral votes to count,” Pence allegedly told Smith’s team, echoing what he has said before in his book and other public forums. “I made it very plain to him that it was inconsistent with our history and tradition.”
Pence insisted that in America, under the Constitution establishing three co-equal branches of government, election disputes are resolved by courts and elected lawmakers, sources said.
But, the sources said, with the pressure on Pence mounting, he concluded on Christmas Eve — just for a moment — that he would follow Trump’s suggestion and let someone else preside over the proceedings on Jan. 6, writing in his notes that doing otherwise would be “too hurtful to my friend.”
“Not feeling like I should attend electoral count,” Pence wrote in his notes in late December. “Too many questions, too many doubts, too hurtful to my friend. Therefore I’m not going to participate in certification of election.”
Then, sitting across the table from his son, a Marine, while on vacation in Colorado, his son said to him, “Dad, you took the same oath I took” — it was “an oath to support and defend the Constitution,” Pence recalled to Smith’s investigators, sources said.
That’s when Pence decided he would be at the Capitol on Jan. 6 after all, according to the sources.
Read the entire piece here.
Pence’s testimony shows just how close we were to the collapse of our democracy in December 2020.