President Donald Trump cursed out Vice President Mike Pence in a furious phone call demanding that Pence overthrow the presidential election results, it has been revealed.
On January 6, hours before his mob of loyalists stormed the U.S. Capitol as Pence presided over a joint session of Congress, Trump called the vice president’s residence with a final, desperate plea.
‘You can either go down in history as a patriot, or you can go down in history as a p***y,’ Trump warned Pence on the call, two people briefed on the conversation told the New York Times.
Pence, who had remained a quiet and loyal No. 2 throughout Trump’s term, was finally at the breaking point — and likely realized that his refusal to go along with Trump’s illegal plan would cost him politically with Trump’s base and scuttle any chance of a future presidential bid.
‘You can either go down in history as a patriot, or you can go down in history as a p***y,’ Trump warned Pence on a call the morning of January 6, as Congress was set to convene
Pence, who had remained a quiet and loyal No. 2 throughout Trump’s term, was finally at the breaking point and rejected Trump’s plea, refusing to overturn the election
For days, Trump had been pressuring Pence to intervene in Congress and block the certification of the Electoral College vote naming Democrat Joe Biden as the next president.
After his flurry of election lawsuits were all thrown out, somehow Trump came to believe that Pence had the power to select the next president.
Pence’s counsel, Greg Jacob, researched the matter and concluded the vice president had no such authority. But Trump continued to press the matter, and Pence sought further outside counsel from John Yoo, a conservative legal scholar at the University of California at Berkeley who served in George W. Bush’s administration.
On January 5, Trump harried Pence in a string of encounters, including one meeting that lasted more than an hour, sources told the Times. Lawyers present in the meeting tried to convince Trump that Pence had no power to overthrow the election.
On the morning of January 6, Pence’s personal attorney called J. Michael Luttig, a conservative former appeals court judge, and asked him to write his opinion about Pence’s ability to intervene.
Luttig quickly shared his opinion that Pence had no such ability, and Pence cited it in a public letter shortly before the joint session of Congress convened, saying he would not intervene in the election.
Trump, seen on Tuesday, harried Pence in a string of encounters before January 6 and begged him to illegally intervene in Congress to overthrow the election results, sources say
Throughout Trump’s term, Pence had specialized in remaining quietly in the background, avoiding anything that would draw the president’s rage. They are seen above last March
Pence’s decision infuriated the president and the crowd of Trump supporters gathered around the Capitol. As the mob stormed the building, some were heard chanting ‘hang Mike Pence!’