If Mike Pence continues his refusal to tell investigators the details of Trump’s Jan 6 attack, he must be viewed as complicit
Why does the media cheer Pence for doing the bare minimum?!
Here we go again: Mike Pence is being praised for simply saying the truth about Donald Trump and the Jan 6 attack. Apparently, the bar has been so lowered for the GOP by the corporate media that acknowledging the truth is now cause for applause.
The latest episode comes after Pence’s comments Saturday night at the annual Gridiron Club Dinner in Washington, D.C. At this gathering of nearly 600 journalists and politicians, Pence bluntly told the audience that Trump was “wrong” in that, “I had no right to overturn the election. Pence even made this personal, saying Trump’s “reckless words endangered my family and everyone at the Capitol that day.” He added, “I know that history will hold Donald Trump accountable.”
That led to stories celebrating Pence as a brave truth-teller by media outlets from NPR to to Axios to this gem by Rolling Stone: “Pence gave some of his strongest public criticisms of his ex-boss.”
But what so many in media are missing is the glaring hypocrisy of Pence’s words at the event when he said: “The American people have a right to know what took place at the Capitol on January 6th.” Followed by his praising the media’s reporting in connection with Jan 6, saying, “The American people know what happened that day because you never stopped reporting.” He then added powerfully that their reporting, served to “preserve and strengthen this great democracy.”
The truth is Pence is 100% correct that the American people “have a right to know what took place at the Capitol on January 6th” and that such information does indeed “preserve and strengthen this great democracy.” So then why has Pence stonewalled every effort to provide the American people—and all those investigating Jan 6—a full accounting of all the events surrounding that day?! And how can history “hold Donald Trump accountable” as Pence hopes if he won’t share the details of what happened?!
As a reminder, Pence refused to testify before the Jan 6 committee plus he recently filed a motion to block a federal grand jury subpoena that seeks his testimony in connection with Special Counsel Jack Smith’s Jan 6th investigation.
Pence is in a unique position to provide the American public—and investigators—the facts concerning both Trump’s attempted coup and the Jan 6 attack itself. The report drafted by the bipartisan Jan 6th House Committee backs that up. For example, the report notes that, “Despite knowing that such an action would be illegal…Donald Trump corruptly pressured Vice President Mike Pence to refuse to count electoral votes during Congress’s joint session on January 6th.” We should know exactly what Trump did to “corruptly pressure” Pence and who better than Pence himself to tell us?!
While Pence refused to speak to the Jan 6 committee when asked in November 2022, the report details that Pence had “said publicly that he told President Trump there was no basis to allege that the election was stolen.” The report also highlighted that, “When a reporter recently asked, “Did you ever point blank say to the President [that] we lost this election?,” Pence responded that “I did...Many times.” We need to know what Trump said in response to fully understand the lead up to Jan 6!
Then there’s Pence’s phone call with Trump early in the morning of Jan 6 where witnesses in the Oval Office overheard the conversation. As laid out in the report, these witnesses--including Ivanka Trump--testified under oath that during this call, “Trump grew very heated,” and “called Vice President Pence a “wimp,” and the “the p-word,” warning Pence it would be “a political career killer” to certify the lawful electoral votes electing President Biden.”
Again, only Pence knows the details of that and all the other conversations with Trump—which is information the public absolutely deserves to know. But when the Jan 6 committee asked Pence to testify in November 2022, he stated, “I am closing the door on that, but I must say again, the partisan nature of the January 6 committee has been a disappointment to me.”
While I disagree that the bipartisan Jan 6 committee was “partisan,” then why won’t he talk to the federal grand jury about what he knows?! There’s not a hint of partisanship there. Yet still Pence refuses, instead filing a motion earlier this month to block the subpoena, arguing it was “unconstitutional and unprecedented.”
Pence’s continued protection of Trump is pathetic. As Pence stated Saturday, Trump’s words on Jan 6 put the life of his family members in jeopardy—as well as his own. As a reminder, Trump tweeted during the Jan 6 attack at 2:24PMET after the Capitol was breached by his angry supporters: “Mike Pence didn't have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution.” Soon thereafter, the MAGA terrorists in the Capitol could be heard chanting, “Hang Mike Pence.”
Pence can’t have it both ways. Either he shares with the American people a full accounting of what Trump did and said in the lead up to Jan 6 or he should be viewed as being complicit in Trump’s actions by concealing these facts.
The former vice president is correct when he says the media reporting on what happened on Jan 6th serves to “preserve and strengthen this great democracy.” Pence withholding the truth about Trump’s actions in connection Jan 6 from the American people—as well as federal investigator’s—does the exact opposite. In fact, at this point, it renders Pence complicit in all of Trump’s Jan 6 related crimes.
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You make some excellent points here. If Pence genuinely wants to see the former President held accountable for his part in the attempted coup, then he should be willing to provide the facts so that the wheels of justice can turn.
I don't want to speculate too much on his reasoning for refusing, but it does make me wonder if he doesn't want to be questioned about his own actions during the election, or behind the scenes in the lead up to the attack.
I can see why he might worry that some things might be embarrassing to share before a jury and the American public.
The Nazi strategy was to keep telling a lie, until it becomes the truth. Mike Pence strategy is do Not tell the truth, until it becomes a lie.