In his column published in the Wall Street Journal, former Vice President Mike Pence included an excerpt from his upcoming book, which reaffirms that John Eastman’s proposals to overturn the election on Jan. 6 were fabricated and known to be false even by Pence himself.
He remembered a discussion with Donald Trump a few days before the Capitol attack. They were talking about the lawsuit Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) filed. “I don’t want to see ‘Pence Opposes Gohmert Suit’ as a headline this morning,” Trump angrily said, according to Pence. The ex-VP said he told Trump he was against it.
He inquired why I would oppose it if it yielded power, and Pence stated he didn’t think the power was granted under the Constitution. He then said I was too honest and hundreds of thousands of people would detest me for it, calling me an idiot.
Other sources have Trump calling Pence a “p*ssy” and other names. At the same time, Pence wasn’t just standing up for democracy out of the goodness of his heart. He was looking for a way to make it happen, too, even going so far as to call Dan Quayle for advice on his role on Jan. 6.
In his recollection, Pence said, “On Jan. 4, the president’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, summoned me to the Oval Office for a meeting with a long list of attendees, including the legal scholar John Eastman. As Eastman argued that I should modify the proceedings–which require that electoral votes be opened and counted in alphabetical order–by saving the five disputed states until the end, I listened respectfully. He claimed I had the authority to return the votes to the states until each legislature certified which of the competing slate of electors for the state was correct. I had already confirmed that there were no competing electors.”
Pence remembered Eastman attempting to explain his legal theory, but Eastman was the only one who held that belief. “Do you think I have the power to dismiss or turn down votes?” he recollected asking Eastman. “Well, it’s never been taken to court, so I suppose it is undecided,” Eastman answered. Pence told Trump, “Even your lawyer doesn’t think I have the authority to return electoral votes.”
He remembered Trump saying, “I like the other thing better,” which meant he could dismiss electoral votes. Pence clarified to Trump that even Eastman wasn’t in favor of his own ideas. Those debates occurred once more the following day, during which some testimony from the House Select Committee charged with examining the Jan. 6 attack and the coup to overturn the 2020 election was given. Legal disputes arose in the Oval Office. Trump berated everyone present, and no decisions were made.
Pence provided a detailed account of events on the sixth, which generally matched those of other sources. On Jan. 11, he remembered talking to Trump, confessing, “I was angry. You and I had our differences that day, Mr. President, and seeing those people tear up the Capitol infuriated me.” He told Trump directly that what transpired on Jan. 6 was horrific and unacceptable. This is in contrast to the message Republicans have been sending for the past two years. Pence said he told Trump he was praying for him, to which Trump replied, “Don’t bother.”
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