Posts tagged with "Former Vice President Mike Pence"

Mike Pence’s security detail feared for their lives, called family members, during Capitol riot

July 25, 2022

Members of former Vice President Mike Pence’s security detail were so afraid for their lives during the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot that they made calls over radio to say goodbye to their family members, according to testimony given by a former White House national security official to the House committee investigating the attack. The testimony was revealed at a hearing on Thursday, July 21, reports HuffPost.

The official’s identity was withheld for security reasons.

“There was a lot of yelling, a lot of very personal calls over the radio,” the official added. “It was disturbing. I don’t like talking about it, but there were calls to say goodbye to family members. The VP detail thought that this was going to get very ugly.”

After rioters broke into the Capitol, Secret Service rushed Pence to a secure area just off the Senate floor, where he had been presiding over the certification of the Electoral College resultsThe rioters came within 40 feet of Pence before he was evacuated. Some rioters were chanting for Pence to be hanged, and a gallows was erected outside the building.

Five people died and more than 140 officers were injured in the riot. Witnesses  described a war zone at the scene that looked like a “medieval battleground.”

Lawmakers and their staff who hid as the violence erupted on January 6 also feared for their lives. “I think I was in a state of shock, to be honest. I was absolutely terrified,” Erica Loewe, then a staffer for Represenjtative Jim Clyburn (D-South Carolina), told HuffPost. “Looking back at the text messages … to my family and friends, I just asked them all to pray because I really didn’t know what was going to happen. I don’t think I truly understood the gravity of what happened until afterwards, when I saw the images.”

Research contact: @HuffPost

National Archives to hand over Pence’s vice presidential records to January 6 Committee

Febraury 3, 2022

The Biden Administration has ordered the National Archives to turn over records from former Vice President Mike Pence’s time in office,  despite objections from former President Donald Trump, reports The Hill.

A letter dated Tuesday, February 1, from White House Deputy Counsel Dana Remus directed the agency to begin releasing the documents to the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

“Many of the records as to which the former President has made a claim of privilege in this set of documents …were communications concerning the former Vice President’s responsibilities as President of the Senate in certifying the vote of presidential electors on January 6, 2021,” Remus wrote.

Although vice presidential records do qualify for some public records exemptions that restrict access, “they are not subject to claims of the presidential communications privilege,” she wrote.

The letter from Remus follows a January 18 letter from Trump seeking to block the release of more than 100 of the documents. In the letter, Trump claimed the documents would violate executive privilege as well as another privilege that covers deliberative processes.

Remus has consistently ordered the release of various Trump-era documents, noting that President Joe Biden, the sitting commander-in-chief, has not asserted any privilege over the records.

The order to release the records comes as a growing number of former Pence aides are cooperating with the committee and sitting for interviews with investigators.

Greg Jacob, counsel to Pence who opposed plans to have Pence buck his ceremonial duties to certify the election results, met with the committee on Tuesday, February 1. And former Pence Chief of Staff Mark Short testified before the House panel last week.

Research contact: @thehill

Cheney, Kinzinger call out Trump over Pence comments

February 1, 2022

Representatives Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Illinois) called out former President Donald Trump after he suggested that former Vice President Mike Pence should have overturned the results of the 2020 presidential election, reports The Hill.

Cheney and Kinzinger—who are the only two Republicans serving on the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol—characterized the ex-president’s comments as un-American.

Cheney outlined a series of Trump’s recent statements in a tweet on Monday, January 31— including his admission that “he was attempting to overturn the election”— before writing, “He’d do it all again if given the chance.”

The Wyoming Republican, who is facing a Trump-backed primary challenger, also noted that Trump previously said he would consider pardoning individuals charged in connection to the January 6 riot if he runs for president again and wins another term in the White House.

Kinzinger on Sunday said Trump’s statement earlier that day was “an admission” and “massively un-American.” He then offered an ultimatum to GOP leaders, calling on them to “pick a side” between Trump or the Constitution.

“There is no middle on defending our nation anymore,” he added in a tweet.

Trump in a statement on Sunday pointed to a congressional effort to reform the Electoral College Act as proof that Pence “did have the right to change the outcome” of the 2020 presidential election.

The former president said Pence “unfortunately” did not “exercise that power,” adding “he could have overturned the Election!” 

Pence’s role in overseeing the certification of the Electoral College vote was, as it is for all vice presidents, largely ceremonial. He presided over a joint session of Congress on January 6 where he recognized GOP senators and House members who objected to the results to the voting count in specific states. That set up votes by the House and Senate to consider the objections.

Trump has long argued falsely that Pence had more power over the process and the mob that stormed the Capitol on January 6 did so thinking they could end the

The former president’s statement comes as the congressional effort to reform the Electoral College Act is picking up momentum, with some lawmakers seeing changes to the archaic law as a compromise between both parties on election reform; which Democrats have been pushing for on the federal level in the aftermath of the 2020 election.

The Electoral College Act was enacted in 1887 and outlines how the Electoral College results are counted. A bipartisan group of senators met last week to discuss changes to the statute.

Research contact: @thehill