Former President Trump hit “sowed” the seeds for the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack when he appointed the Inebriated Rudy Giuliani and conspiracy theorist Sidney Powell legal strategy leads for his crusade to overturn the 2020 election result, ex-Vice President Mike Pence writes in a new book, titled So Help Me God.
The publisher, Simon & Schuster, in a promotional piece, said the book, debuting November 15, “is the inside story of the Trump Administration by its second-highest ranking official” that “chronicles President Trump’s severing of their relationship on January 6, 2021, when Pence kept his oath to the Constitution.”
In an excerpt published by Axios on Monday, Pence recalled how a post-election meeting to brief then-President Trump on his failing election challenges turned into a fiery exchange between Trump’s official campaign lawyers and the external attorneys.
"What began as a briefing that Thursday afternoon,” Pence wrote, “quickly turned into a contentious back-and-forth between the campaign lawyers and a growing group of outside attorneys led by Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, an attorney who had represented General Mike Flynn [ex-national security adviser convicted for lying to the FBI who was pardoned by Trump].
“After the campaign lawyers gave a sober and somewhat pessimistic report on the state of election challenges, the outside cast of characters went on the attack ... Giuliani told the president over the speakerphone, ‘Your lawyers are not telling you the truth, Mr. President.’
"Even in an office well acquainted with rough-and-tumble debates, it was a new low .... [and] went downhill from there," Pence wrote. "In the end, that day the president made the fateful decision to put Giuliani and Sidney Powell in charge of the legal strategy ... The seeds were being sown for a tragic day in January."
Pence’s relationship with Trump has made many headlines since the former president — whose coup attempts were denounced by the courts, the “Team Normal” arm of his party and counsel, and a majority of American voters — turned to his vice president to advance his coup efforts, in abject betrayal of the Constitution.
The House Select Committee, in its public January 6 hearings, painted in evocative detail a picture of the blistering public and private pressure Trump and his inner circle applied to Pence to prevent the certification of Joe Biden’s electoral victory.
The fake elector scheme, arguably the most expansive of Trump’s coup plots — which Trumpworld pressed Pence to agree to, including sitting members of Congress — centered on appointing a slate of bogus electors subservient to Trump in crucial swing states that Biden won.
Pence’s dismissal of the elector plan and subsequent refusal to bow to pressure culminated in a “heated” phone call between Trump and Pence the morning of January 6 and, later that day, the storming of the U.S. Capitol by a mob of irate Trump supporters chanting “Hang Mike Pence!”
“Donald Trump wanted Mike Pence to do something no other vice president has ever done: the former president wanted Pence to reject the votes and either declare Trump the winner or send the votes back to the states to be counted again,” select committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) said on June 6, during the House panel’s public hearing.
“Mike Pence said no,” Thompson continued. “He resisted the pressure. He knew it was illegal. He knew it was wrong.”
Trump has repeatedly denied allegations of wrongdoing but has berated Pence — first during the “Stop the Steal” rally that preceded the January 6 riot and multiple times thereafter — for his refusal to cooperate with his election subversion campaign.
Pence has suggested he won’t back a potential Trump 2024 bid, saying, “There might be someone else I prefer more,” according to the Washington Post.The former President, who is reportedly waiting out the midterms before announcing his 2024 ambitions, has allegedly stated that he won’t ever pick Pence as a running mate again because the former VP “committed political suicide” by refusing to intervene in the electoral vote certification.