The day before the infamous Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., the chief of staff for Mike Pence reportedly warned Secret Service that Pence’s security was at risk because the “president was going to turn publicly against the vice president.”
The explosive claim comes from The New York Times, courtesy of White House correspondent Maggie Haberman, who is apparently researching a new book on the matter.
The House Select Committee Investigating Jan. 6 is set to take their investigation to prime time, with a televised hearing “to provide the American people with a summary of our findings about the coordinated, multi-step effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election.”
This means, in the days leading up to the hearing, pieces meant to stir up interest for the main event are to be expected from mainstream media.
🗓️ Thursday, June 9th at 8:00pm
The Select Committee will hold a hearing to provide the American people with a summary of our findings about the coordinated, multi-step effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
— January 6th Committee (@January6thCmte) June 2, 2022
If Haberman’s name sounds familiar, it’s because she was part of The Times team that received the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for pushing the now-debunked “Russia” narrative.
According to Haberman, the former VP’s chief of staff, Marc Short, called Pence’s lead Secret Service agent, Tim Giebels, into his office and warned him of then-President Donald Trump’s alleged intention to “turn publicly against” Pence, creating what Short saw as a potential threat to Pence’s very life.
“Mr. Short did not know what form such a security risk might take, according to people familiar with events,” Haberman dishes. “But after days of intensifying pressure from Mr. Trump on Mr. Pence to take the extraordinary step of intervening in the certification of the Electoral College count to forestall Mr. Trump’s defeat, Mr. Short seemed to have good reason for concern.”
“The vice president’s refusal to go along was exploding into an open and bitter breach between the two men at a time when the president was stoking the fury of his supporters who were streaming into Washington,” the author writes.
A sense of melodrama seems to permeate every paragraph of Haberman’s piece, which is long on hyperbolic phrases but noticeably short on any named sources or solid support for her claims.
Case in point:
Mr. Short’s previously unreported warning reflected the remarkable tension in the West Wing as Mr. Trump and a band of allies, with the clock running out, searched desperately for a means of overturning the election. Mr. Trump grew agitated as his options closed, and it became clear that he was failing in his last-ditch effort to muscle his previously compliant vice president into unilaterally rejecting the voting outcomes in key states.
The warning also shows the concern at the highest levels of the government about the danger that Mr. Trump’s anticipated actions and words might lead to violence on Jan. 6.
It is unclear what, if anything, Mr. Giebels did with the message. But as Mr. Trump attacked his second in command — and democratic norms — in an effort to cling to power, it would prove prophetic.
A day after Mr. Short’s warning, more than 2,000 people — some chanting “Hang Mike Pence” — stormed the Capitol as the vice president was overseeing the certification of Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory. Outside, angry Trump supporters had erected a mock gallows.
Haberman goes on to suggest that then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows was going around telling “colleagues” that Trump said Pence should be hanged.
“After Mr. Pence was hustled to safety, Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, is reported to have told colleagues that Mr. Trump said that perhaps Mr. Pence should have been hanged,” she writes.
For support of this claim, she linked to an article she wrote with Luke Broadwater in which she cites “an account provided to the House committee investigating Jan. 6” as yet another unnamed source.
It’s as if she’s teasing the Select Committee’s show, which Americans will get to enjoy from the comfort of their living rooms next week.
Better start popping the popcorn now…
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