Photos released by the Jan. 6th committee on Thursday prove that then-Vice President Mike Pence and his family hid inside the U.S. Capitol during the riot that day rather than flee so that the VP could certify the 2020 presidential election.
So do the words of the VP’s former counsel, Greg Jacobs, who testified on Thursday that the rumors about Pence refusing to leave were all accurate.
“The vice president did not want to take any chance that the world would see the vice president of the United States fleeing the United States Capitol,” Jacobs said.
“He was determined that we would complete the work that we had set out to do that day — that it was his constitutional duty to see through, and that the rioters who had breached the Capitol would not have the satisfaction of disrupting the proceedings beyond the day on which they were supposed to be completed.”
When the riot first erupted, Pence was on the Senate floor reportedly leading the certification of the 2020 presidential election results.
As news of the riot spread, he was promptly moved to a ceremonial office just steps from the Senate floor. This was first reported last summer in a book written by Washington Post reporters Philip Rucker and Carol D. Leonnig.
“When a crowd of Trump supporters breached the Capitol complex about an hour into the certification process, Secret Service agents swiftly escorted Pence to his ceremonial office near the Senate floor, the book says,” Business Insider reported at the time.
In this photo, taken minutes after VP Pence was evacuated from the Senate Floor, Karen Pence closes the curtains. A person in the room told me she could see the mob outside and was fearful they would see where Pence was. pic.twitter.com/RJs2nitAmE
— Jonathan Karl (@jonkarl) June 15, 2022
Because of concerns about the room’s lack of security — note the windows — the VP’s security detail pressed him to evacuate the building, but he refused.
“I’m not leaving the Capitol,” he reportedly told Tim Giebels, his lead security agent.
Jan. 6th committee member Rep. Pete Aguilar claimed Thursday that the room was “approximately 40 feet” from the “mob” of rioters.
“Make no mistake about the fact that the vice president’s life was in danger. A recent court filing from the Department of Justice explains that a confidential informant from the Proud Boys told the FBI that the Proud Boys would have killed Mike Pence if given the chance,” Aguilar claimed.
Pence eventually agreed to be moved, and his “protective detail then ushered [him], along with his wife, Karen, daughter Charlotte, and his brother Rep. Greg Pence of Indiana, down a staircase to his armored limousine,” according to Insider.
Minutes later, Pence and his family were evacuated to a loading dock beneath the Capitol complex. That night, Pence tweeted these photos from his loading-dock hideaway after the Capitol was cleared of rioters pic.twitter.com/2Dr2otsmKB
— Jonathan Karl (@jonkarl) June 15, 2022
See more photos of the VP and his family in the dock below:
Pence then chose to remain there instead of fleeing the Capitol, despite being pressed by security to hop into the limo and leave.
“If I get in that vehicle, you guys are taking off. I’m not getting in the car,” the VP reportedly said.
“Pence and his family then waited out the riot from an underground but undisclosed location inside the Capitol, the authors write. He was adamant that Congress finish its work that same night, the book says,” according to Insider.
“We need to get back tonight. We can’t let the world see that our process of confirming the next president can be delayed,” Pence reportedly said.
He and his family reportedly wound up spending 4-1/2 hours in hiding, after which he confidently returned to the Senate floor to certify the election.
As reported last year, Pence wasn’t the only one keen on ensuring that the 2020 presidential election be certified.
“Congressional leaders Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell also wanted to stand their ground against the rioters and complete the election certification, the book says. The top Democrat and Republican, as well as fellow leaders Chuck Schumer and Kevin McCarthy, were transported from the Capitol to Fort McNair, an Army post in southwest Washington, during the chaos, the book says,” according to Insider.
“We’re going back to the Capitol. You just tell us how long it will take to get rid of these people,” Pelosi reportedly said.
“I want it cleared out now. The Senate needs to get its business done,” McConnell reportedly added.
The election was eventually certified at 3:24 am the following morning.
J. Michael Luttig: If Pence had done what Trump wanted, it “would have plunged America into what I believe would have been tantamount to a revolution within a Constitutional crisis in America.” #jan6hearing pic.twitter.com/BxEnuWCh2A
— David Corn (@DavidCornDC) June 16, 2022
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