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Pence Spills the Beans to Smith

ABC News has a scoop about what Mike Pence told Special Prosecutor Jack Smith earlier this year. According to ABC, Donald Trump surrounded himself with crank lawyers, espoused "unAmerican" legal theories, and moved to the edge of a constitutional crisis, even though according to Liz Cheney, he knew he had lost the election.

Pence told Smith that in early January 2021, he informed Trump that there was no evidence of election fraud, but Trump kept claiming the election was stolen. If Cheney's report is true, then Trump was simply lying to Pence as he knew he had lost and was just hoping to bully his way to another term. Many of the questions Smith's team asked Pence related to items in Pence's recent book. The investigators had all read the book, but they wanted Pence to repeat the comments under oath, which he happily did.

However, Pence also offered up many previously undisclosed details. For example, for a short while, he had decided simply not to show up on Jan. 6 to preside over the counting of the electoral votes. What would Congress have done then? However, Pence's son, Michael Pence, a Marine, said to him: "Dad, you took the same oath I took. It was an oath to support and defend the Constitution." That convinced Pence not to play hooky.

The level of questioning from Smith's lawyers was so detailed, they quizzed him about a comma in his book. In the book he wrote:

"You know, I don't think I have the authority to change the outcome of the election on Jan. 6."

But he told investigators the comma was not intentional. He meant to write:

"You know I don't think I have the authority to change the outcome of the election on Jan. 6."

The latter (comma-free) version makes it clear that Pence believed that Trump knew Pence could not do what Trump was asking him to do. Pence repeatedly told Trump that having one person decide which votes to count and which to discard was fundamentally "un-American."

When Trump asked Pence what he should do, Pence told him to accept the results, take a bow, travel around the country to thank supporters, and then run again in 2024 if he wanted to. Upon hearing that, Trump just walked away.

There is no doubt much more and Pence is almost certain to be a star witness in the insurrection trial that will start on March 4. He saw Trump up close and can testify to many things no one else knows about. (V)

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