In the Oval Office last week, the day before the vote, Mr. Trump pushed Mr. Pence in a series of encounters, including one meeting that lasted at least an hour. John Eastman, a conservative constitutional scholar at Chapman University, was in the office and claimed that Mr. Pence had the power to act.
The next morning, hours before the vote, Mr. Pence’s private lawyer, Richard Karen, was a conservatively respected former Court of Appeals judge, and Mr. Eastman was once a clerk. I called Michael Rutig. Mr. Rutig immediately wrote down his opinion that the Vice President had no power to change the outcome and agreed to post it on Twitter.
Within minutes, Mr. Pence’s staff quoted Mr. Rutig’s name and incorporated Mr. Rutig’s reasoning into a letter announcing the Vice President’s decision not to block the electors. Arriving on Tuesday, Mr. Rutig said it was “the highest honor of my life” to play a role in keeping the constitution.
After calling for anger to curse Mr. Pence, Mr. Trump angered his supporters at a rally against his own Vice President, “I hope he doesn’t listen to RINO and the stupid people he’s listening to. I said.
“He launched Mike Pence on his shoulder that day,” said Ryan Streeter, an adviser to Pence when he was governor of Indiana. “It’s pretty unprecedented in American politics. It’s in my heart that the president throws his vice president under the bus and encourages his supporters to take him. It’s just rude. “
Mr Pence was already in his convoy to the Capitol at that time. When the mob rushed into the building, Secret Service agents evacuated him and his wife and children to his office, first off the floor, and later to the basement. His agent urged him to leave the building, but he refused to abandon the Capitol. From there, he spoke to Congressional leaders, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but not the President.
A Republican senator later said he had never seen Mr Pence so angry and felt betrayed by the president who did a lot. One adviser told Mr. Trump that the Vice President had entered “session territory” by referring to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was tortured by the President before he was fired. (The Vice President cannot be dismissed by the President.)
Mike Pence reached his limits with Trump. It wasn’t clean.
Source link Mike Pence reached his limits with Trump. It wasn’t clean.