Trump Knew Pence Was In Danger Before His “Courage” Tweet
House impeachment managers this week have brought to light a number of previously unknown aspects of the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, perhaps the most disturbing of which is that Donald Trump knew that Vice President Mike Pence was in very real, imminent physical danger when he fired off a tweet saying, “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution . . . USA demands the truth!”
That tweet is now seen as being particularly incendiary to the insurrection mob that invaded the Capitol and a trigger behind the chants of “hang Mike Pence” that have echoed many times in the Senate chamber over the past several days as managers played video during Trump’s trial on the charge of inciting an insurrection.
Lead manager Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) and his colleagues have been painstaking in constructing the timeline of Trump’s post-election efforts to build anger among his based by falsely claiming the election was stolen from him, which culminated in his rally speech on the Ellipse. Even though he said he was going to march to the Capitol alongside his supporters, Trump returned to the White House and became glued to the television watching his domestic terrorist supporters breach the Capitol.
What we now know is that Trump’s “courage” tweet went out at 2:24 p.m. that day, which is only 11 minutes after the live television coverage of the electoral college certification proceedings showed Pence being hustled off the Senate floor because Trump’s rioters were flooding into the building just one floor below. What’s more, Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) told Trump during a phone call that Pence had been evacuated. He told reporters on Thursday, “I said, ‘Mr. President, they just took our vice president out, they’re getting ready to drag me out of here. I got to go.'”
Also, the White House typically is informed immediately about any significant movements of the vice president, further evidence that Trump must have known about the danger to Pence and his family when he decided to hit send on that tweet.
Trump repeatedly attacked Pence during his rally speech and tried to pressure him into not certifying the electoral college vote. “Mike Pence,” Trump said, “I hope you’re going to stand up for the good of our Constitution and for the good of the country. And if you’re not, I’m going to be very disappointed in you.”