After federal authorities handed down more charges to embattled former President Donald Trump connected to the deadly Capitol insurrection, many eyes are turning to former Vice President Mike Pence for his key role in the investigation that led to this most recent indictment against Trump.
Trump recently pleaded not guilty to criminal charges he faces for alleged election interference after losing to Joe Biden in the 2020 election.
Included in the indictment are mentions of “contemporaneous notes” from Pence as well as calls between Pence and Trump just days before the insurrection that revealed Trump’s ruthless demands for Pence to refrain from certifying electoral votes and halt the peaceful transfer of power.
The former vice president and now-presidential hopeful has worked to remove himself from any and all parts of the investigation into the violent riot, only testifying before the special counsel after losing a court fight.
He has also tread carefully in his comments on the special counsel investigations and other subsequent indictments against Trump, presumably not to rile any of his supporters and chip away at his campaign. He called the first indictment connected to hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels an “outrage” and said of the second on Trump’s mishandling of classified documents that he “cannot defend what is alleged.”
However, in recent months, Pence has gone on the offensive, saying Trump was “wrong” for his role in the Capitol uprising, thereby distancing himself from the former president’s good graces. And now, he’s approaching this latest indictment with even less ambiguity than the previous two, appearing more forthright and unforgiving.
In an interview with reporters after Trump’s third indictment was announced, Pence said, “Irrespective of the indictment, I want the American people to know that I had no right to overturn the election and that on that day President Trump asked me to put him over the Constitution, I chose the Constitution and I always will.”
He also told Fox News, “The president specifically asked me and his gaggle of crackpot lawyers to literally reject votes … literally chaos would have ensued.”
Users on social media were just as unforgiving toward Pence, noting his tendency to keep to the sidelines in his loyalty to the Trump camp and calling his show of sluggish accountability “cowardice.”
“Speaking up almost 3 years later, after an insurrection ensued, and orange 45 has been indicted on 70+ felony charges, is the epitome of cowardice! 🤷🏾♂️,” an Instagram user wrote.
“Pence stood by Trump for four years, now all of a sudden he’s a crockpot? 🤔 The writing was on the wall the whole time, but he looked the other way because it benefited him. 🙄,” another person commented.
“Omg this is historic!!! A vice president has never done an interview and said plain as day that the President asked him to commit crimes. This is insaneee,” someone else said.
Trump also didn’t mince words in his rebuke of Pence and his remarks in a post on TruthSocial.
“I feel badly for Mike Pence, who is attracting no crowds, enthusiasm, or loyalty from people who, as a member of the Trump Administration, should be loving him. He didn’t fight against Election Fraud, which we will now be easily able to prove based on the most recent Fake Indictment & information which will have to be made available to us, finally – a really BIG deal.”
Trump might have to further assess those in his closest circles after his lawyer John Lauro just echoed the same damning admissions that Pence made and said that Trump did attempt to block Congress’s efforts to certify the 2020 election on Jan. 6, 2021.