The Boyertown Area Times

Pence walks shaky line between courage and cold feet


Now Donald Trump wants to blame Mike

Pence for the people who shouted, “Hang Mike Pence”? Amazingly, the former president has sharply rebuked his former vice president’s contention that history will hold Trump accountabl­e for the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Instead Trump told reporters Monday that it is Pence who should bear the blame for the violent riot by Trump’s supporters. All he had to do, Trump said, was take the law into his own hands.

“Had he sent the votes back to the legislatur­es, they wouldn’t have had a problem with Jan. 6,” Trump said, referring to Pence’s refusal to reject the Electoral College votes in Congress as Trump wanted him to do that day. “So in many ways you can blame him for Jan. 6.”

“Had he sent them back to Pennsylvan­ia, Georgia, Arizona, the states, I believe, No. 1, you would have had a different outcome,” Trump added. “But I also believe you wouldn’t have had ‘Jan. 6, as we call it.”

Isn’t that classic Trump? When reality doesn’t suit him, he bends it.

Trump sounds like he is still clinging to the ambiguous provisions of the 1887 Electoral Count Act, with which some of his lawyers tried to delay or even overrule the 2020 electoral vote count that President Joe Biden won.

Congress has since updated the act, but Trump still hangs onto the old ambiguitie­s, if only to stir more suspicions like those that drove the pro-Trump Jan. 6 mob after months of the former president’s false stolen election claims.

Trump had been asked about Pence’s criticisms of him and Fox News host Tucker Carlson over Jan. 6, along with Pence’s praise of the media that Trump constantly calls “fake news.”

I’m a witness. Pence delivered his remarks at the 138th annual Gridiron Club dinner, an ancient, nontelevis­ed event in which journalist­s and political figures make fun of each other.

Tradition calls for three speakers, who this year were Secretary of State Antony Blinken for the White House, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy for the Democrats and Pence for the GOP.

Pence was appropriat­ely funny for most of his speech. “I read that some of those classified documents they found at Mar-aLago were actually stuck in the president’s Bible,” Pence quipped, “which proves he had absolutely no idea they were there.”

But he also was passionate­ly blunt about the predicamen­t in which Trump had put him — and the nation — on Jan.6.

Pence said Trump was wrong in claiming that the vice president had the authority to overturn the election results.

Pence slammed efforts by some to rewrite that day as a “peaceful tourist visit,” noting that “tourists don’t injure 140 police officers by sightseein­g.” Pence appeared to be referring to Carlson and others who have tried to pretend that ample footage of graphic violence on Jan. 6 doesn’t exist.

Trump’s “reckless words endangered my family and everyone at the Capitol that day,” Pence said. “I know that history will hold Donald Trump accountabl­e.”

Yet, I must ask, how can history or anyone else properly hold the former president accountabl­e if Pence won’t share details of his interactio­ns with Trump leading up to the election and the day of the attack?

Why did Pence recently seek to block a federal grand jury subpoena seeking his testimony in the investigat­ion of that attack. And why has he stonewalle­d efforts to provide a full accounting of all the events surroundin­g that day?

“The American people have a right to know what took place at the Capitol on Jan. 6,” Pence said.

That’s right, sir. I wish you would do more to help us find out.

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