The former VP reportedly told Jack Smith that in January 2020, he was worried certifying Joe Biden’s win would be “too hurtful to my friend,” i.e., Donald Trump. Via Vanity Fair:
Were it not for the Marine son of Mike Pence, the nation might have endured a constitutional crisis worse than the one wrought by the January 6 riot. At least, that’s what the former vice president apparently suggested to Jack Smith, the special counsel prosecuting the federal election interference case against Donald Trump.
According to ABC News, Pence told investigators that he had decided to give in to Trump’s demands that he allow someone else to preside over the certification of Joe Biden’s 2020 victory—worried, he reportedly wrote in his notes, that performing his constitutional duty would be “too hurtful to my friend.” But his son, a Marine, reminded his father during a Colorado vacation that “you took the same oath I took.”
“An oath to support and defend the Constitution,” Pence is said to have told prosecutors.
It’s instructive to observe that Mike Pence bounced from hither and yon, trying desperately to come up with a rationale for doing Trump’s bidding. I’m glad his son Michael has more of a spine than his father.
If Pence presents himself as a hero of this story for finally defying Trump on January 6, he also comes off as wildly naive: In addition to apparently regarding Trump as a good, rational actor, Pence suggests he was open to the possibility there might be legitimacy to his boss’s obviously bullshit claims to “fraud” in the election process. “Get your evidence together,” he told House Republicans in late December of 2020, not long before the January 6 insurrection. “We [will] get our day in Congress.”
Pence, of course, ended up breaking with Trump, who accused him in a court filing Monday of ratting him out to prosecutors in order to “curry favor” and avoid being charged over his handling of classified materials. (“Tens of millions of Americans, including Vice President Pence…have had grave and serious concerns about the election,” a Trump spokesperson said.) But his conversations with prosecutors also serve as a reminder of his complicity in everything that led to that make-or-break moment for democracy on January 6: “My only higher loyalty,” as Pence reportedly told investigators of his allegiance to Trump, “was to God and the Constitution.”
Oh, bless his heart.