Pence deemed 'too honest' and blamed for election results by Trump

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The relationship between former Vice President Mike Pence and former President Donald Trump soured following the Jan. 6 insurrection (Image: AFP via Getty Images)
The relationship between former Vice President Mike Pence and former President Donald Trump soured following the Jan. 6 insurrection (Image: AFP via Getty Images)

A spat leading up to the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol soured the relationship between former President Donald Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence, as evidenced in the indictment that was unsealed Tuesday.

The charges are the third set brought against the former president and detail his role in inciting the deadly riot that killed one at the Capitol on the day the 2020 presidential election results were to be certified in favour of current President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

Recordings released of private conversations between Trump and Pence illustrate the decline in their relationship in the days leading up to the insurrection.

Pence deemed 'too honest' and blamed for election results by Trump eideziqkeiqhhinvTrump called Pence "too honest" ahead of Capitol riots (AFP via Getty Images)

Trump implored Pence to use his ceremonious power as President of the US Senate to overturn the election by sending votes back to the states.

Pence repeatedly told the businessman he didn't feel he had the authority to do so, the indictment states.

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The bad blood began on Christmas Day in 2020 when the former vice president called Trump to wish him a Merry Christmas.

Trump shifted the conversation to the upcoming certification day, January 6, on which Pence would be asked to certify the results publicly in his role as the outgoing vice president.

The Republican forerunner for the 2024 presidential race asked his colleague to "reject electoral votes that day," but Pence refused, saying: "You know I don't think I have the authority to change the outcome."

Pence deemed 'too honest' and blamed for election results by TrumpTrump repeatedly implored Pence to use his ceremonious powers to affect the outcome of the 2020 election (Getty Images)

On December 29, January 1, 2021, and January 3, Trump asked Pence repeatedly to do the same, but each time, the Republican, who is also running for president in 2024, refused.

Trump falsely claimed that the Justice Department had found "major infractions" related to the election on the first of those dates.

January 1 saw the outgoing president berate Pence for opposing "a lawsuit seeking a judicial decision that, at the certification, the Vice President had the authority to reject or return votes to the states under the Constitution."

Pence once again told the New York real estate mogul that he felt he didn't, to which Trump replied: "You're too honest."

Pence deemed 'too honest' and blamed for election results by TrumpRioters breached the Capitol, and one person was killed on January 6, 2021 (AFP via Getty Images)

And on January 3, Trump again pressured the politician, also tweeting that day the time and, later, the location, of "The BIG Protest Rally" set for January 6.

The day of, the former president watched the chaos unfold, then tweeted about Pence minutes after the rioters breached the Capitol.

"Mike Pence didn't have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify," he said. "USA demands the truth!"

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A mere minute later, Pence was being evacuated by the Secret Service as rioters chanted: "Hang Mike Pence!"

At 3.41am local time the next day, January 7, Pence certified the election results, handing off the presidency and vice presidency to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, respectively.

Jeremiah Hassel

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