Pence testified misplaced bit of punctuation in his book made J6 claim inadvertently work in Trump’s favor: report

A new report reveals that an errant bit of punctuation made it into testimony former Vice President Mike Pence delivered to the special counsel investigators looking into the events of January 6.

Pence reportedly spoke with special counsel Jack Smith’s team earlier this year about the events that unfolded on that day and the days leading up to the riot that former President Donald Trump’s critics have insisted was an “insurrection.”

“Questions from Smith’s team repeatedly focused on a book Pence published last year, with investigators apparently seeking to have Pence confirm — under oath — an array of post-election stories and opinions he included in the book,” ABC News reported, referring to the book, “So Help Me God,” published in November 2022.

“But speaking with Smith’s team behind closed doors, Pence also offered previously undisclosed anecdotes and details showing how his longtime friendship with Trump unraveled in the final weeks of their time in the White House, including Pence’s repeated warnings to Trump about the then-president’s push to overturn the election results,” the report continued.

Smith’s team reportedly looked at Pence’s personal notes which he had taken before January 6th in which he said that he “momentarily decided that he would skip the proceedings altogether,” referring to presiding over Congress certifying the election results. In the notes, the now-former VP had reasoned that it would be “too hurtful to my friend,” before ultimately deciding he had a duty to fulfill.

“Not feeling like I should attend electoral count,” Pence reportedly wrote in his notes just before Christmas in 2020. “Too many questions, too many doubts, too hurtful to my friend. Therefore I’m not going to participate in certification of election.”

But, according to the sources, Pence told Smith’s investigators that he ultimately changed his mind after his son, a Marine, said to him, “Dad, you took the same oath I took” — it was “an oath to support and defend the Constitution.”

According to ABC News:

Speaking with Smith’s team, Pence insisted his loyalty to President Trump at the time never faltered — “My only higher loyalty was to God and the Constitution,” sources described Pence as telling them.

Sources said that investigators’ questioning became so granular at times that they pressed Pence over the placement of a comma in his book: When recounting a phone call with Trump on Christmas Day 2020, Pence wrote in his book that he told Trump, “You know, I don’t think I have the authority to change the outcome” of the election on Jan. 6.

 

But according to the sources, Pence told Smith’s investigators that the comma was never meant to be there and that he meant to have written in the book, “You know I don’t think I have the authority to change the outcome.” This would ostensibly change the tenor of the comment, “suggesting Trump was well aware of the limitations of Pence’s authority days before Jan. 6 — a line Smith includes in his indictment,” ABC News noted.

Pence testified before a federal grand jury in Washington in April, just two months before he launched what would be a failed bid for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.

Trump accused the former vice president of “mak[ing] up stories about me, which are absolutely false.”

“I never said for him to put me before the Constitution,” he wrote on Truth Social in September. “Mike failed badly on calling out Voter Fraud in the 2020 Presidential Election.”

If Smith’s election interference case goes to trial, as it is expected to in March 2024, Pence could be called to take the stand against Trump.

Frieda Powers

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