Pence refused to leave Capitol, suggested Insurrection Act for BLM protests: What new books say about VP
WASHINGTON - Summer 2021 may be remembered for all that was revealed in a flood of books about the past year in office of former President Donald Trump.
Michael Wolff's "Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump Presidency"; Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Benders, "Honestly, we won this election": The Inside Story of How Trump Lost "and" I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump's Catastrophic Final Year "by Washington Post reporter Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker have looked at the chaotic actions of the Trump administration in 2020.
They also reveal details about the role of former Vice President Mike Pence in Trump's descent into believing in false electoral fraud conspiracy theories and during the January 6th Uprising in the U.S. Capitol.
Here are five things we learned about Pence as a respectful vice president who finally stood up against his boss during the unprecedented aftermath of the 2020 presidential election.
"Anarchy and Chaos": Michael Bender book describes unrest in the White House of Trump Trump
Pence pulls back during the election certification process
Marc Short, Pence's chief of staff, was a key role in leading the former vice president's final days after Trump's electoral defeat, according to Wolff in Landslide.
Short was not among the government aides who believed in the false claims of electoral fraud made by Trump and other conspiracy theorists. After the election, Short began "carefully planning" the Vice President's final days.
"Short told both party leaders and West Wing staff privately that there was a 'zero debate' in the Vice President's office about his role in the vote count," writes Wolff.
During a January 5 meeting with constitutional scholar John Eastman, Pence rejected Eastman's arguments that he had the power to accept or reject voters during the certification process. In "Honestly, We Won," Bender claims that "Pence thought Trump was receiving poor legal advice."
Vice President Mike Pence will chair a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6 to confirm Joe Biden's victory in the presidential election before a mob of Donald Trump supporters entered the Capitol and lawmakers escaped to safety.
After meeting Eastman, "Pence and Short believed that their views and the actions the Vice President would take could not have been clearer," added Wolff.
However, Trump continued to believe that pence would prevent Congress from confirming the election.
Related: Michael Wolff's "Landslide" tells about Trump's Brett Kavanaugh-Rant, anger at Netanyahu
Pence refuses to leave the Capitol during the January 6th riot
When pro-Trump rioters ransacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6, Pence's intelligence agents rushed to secure him to safety.
Pence was relocated to his ceremonial office during the riot, but was still in a vulnerable location. Tim Giebels, the chief special agent in charge of Pence's details, twice asked the vice president to evacuate the Capitol.
"I'm not leaving the Capitol," he said Giebels, according to the report in "I Alone".
Giebels urged Pence a third time to leave.
“The room you are in is not safe. There are glass windows. I have to move you We go."
Pence was "taken to a secured underground area that rioters could not reach, where Pence's armored limousine was waiting."
However, Pence still refused to get into the limo for fear of being seen escaping the Capitol to justify the rioters.
Vice President Mike Pence speaks to National Guard troops outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021.
A quiet pence orders troops to the Capitol
While military leaders figure out how to deploy the National Guard and neighboring state law enforcement agencies inside the Capitol, Pence called Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller from his secure location, I Alone said.
“Get troops here; Bring her here now, ”a calm Pence Miller ordered. "We have to get Congress to do its business."
"Yes sir," replied Miller.
That was the strictest thing Miller had ever heard from Pence, write Leonnig and Rucker in "I Alone".
More from "I Alone": In a new book, Trump brags that not even a founding father would have hit him
Pence suggests invoking the Insurrection Act
Trump called in senior military, law enforcement and West Wing advisers to the White House after the New York Times reported that he, Melania Trump and son Barron were relocated to a basement bunker during the protests that broke out after George Floyd's death.
At the White House meeting, it was Pence who said, “Honestly, we won,” suggested invoking the Insurrection Act.
"Are you kidding me? A senior administrative officer thought, "claims Bender.
Trump was fixated on the uprising after Pence approached him. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark Milley "was appalled by Pence's proposal," Bender said.
Trump agrees with pence as a rival in 2024
Trump has repeatedly flirted with re-running in 2024, where he could face his vice president as a rival.
When asked by Leonnig and Rucker in "I Alone," Trump told reporters, "It's a free country, isn't it?"
Former Vice President Mike Pence speaks to a crowd during an event sponsored by the Palmetto Family organization on April 29, 2021 in Columbia, South Carolina. The address was the first since the end of his vice presidency.
Trump made no pledge to elect Pence as vice president and turned down former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley as vice presidents.
He also expressed “disappointment” with Pence for confirming the 2020 election results in “I Alone” as well as “Honestly We Won” and “Landslide”.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Pence in new books: VP Refused to Leave Capitol, ordered troops to go there
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