Former Vice President Mike Pence said “the seeds were being sown for a tragic day in January” in November 2020, according to an excerpt Axios obtained from his new book “So Help Me God,” out Nov. 15.
Pence describes a scene shortly after the election, in which he met with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office for a briefing with campaign lawyers and outside attorneys like Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell to discuss options for contesting the results.
“After the campaign lawyers gave a sober and somewhat pessimistic report on the state of election challenges, the outside cast of characters went on the attack,” Pence wrote. “Giuliani told the president over the speakerphone, ‘Your lawyers are not telling you the truth, Mr. President.’”
He added, “Even in an office well acquainted with rough-and-tumble debates, it was a new low,” and that the situation “went downhill from there,” according to the Axios excerpt.
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White House attorneys have described other conflicts with the outside counsel – including a meeting on Dec. 18, 2020, that lasted over six hours – during testimony to the January 6 House select committee.
“I don’t think any of these people were providing the president with good advice,” said Pat Cipollone, former White House counsel member, about the group including Powell and Giuliani that came to the White House to see Trump that day.
House committee member Rep. Jamie Raskin said in a hearing on July 12 that, “what ensued was a heated and profane clash between this group and President Trump’s White House advisers, who traded personal insults, accusations of disloyalty to the president and even challenges to physically fight.”
In his book, Pence said the onus for ensuing events, including the Jan. 6, 2021, riot, was ultimately on the former president’s decision to put Giuliani and Powell in charge of the legal challenges to overturn the election.
Story Credit: usatoday.com