On New Year’s Eve last year, then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows reportedly emailed then-Vice President Mike Pence’s top aide a detailed plan on subverting Joe Biden’s election victory.
According to an upcoming book by ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl, former President Trump’s lawyer Jenna Ellis outlined a multi-step strategy in a memo sent to Pence’s top aide as part of an effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election results amid Trump pushing election fraud falsehoods.
In the memo, Ellis instructs Pence to send back the electoral votes from six battleground states that Trump baselessly claimed that he had won on Jan. 6, the day of the joint session of Congress certifying Biden’s electoral victory.
Ellis wrote that Pence would give the battleground states a deadline of “7pm eastern standard time on January 15th” to submit a new set of votes.
Ellis added that if any state legislature failed to meet that deadline, “no electoral votes can be opened and counted from that state.” In that case, Ellis wrote that neither Biden nor Trump would be left with a majority of votes, meaning that “Congress shall vote by state delegation.” Ellis claimed that scenario would lead to Trump being declared the winner of the 2020 election because Republicans control the majority of state delegations with 26.
Meadows reportedly sent Ellis’ memo to Pence’s aide on Jan. 1. The next day, Trump aide John McEntee issued another memo to Pence’s chief of staff Marc Short that falsely asserted in its title that “Jefferson used his position as VP to win.”
Days before the Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6, Trump told his supporters at a rally in Georgia that he hopes Pence “comes through for us.”
“”I have to tell you I hope that our great vice president comes through for us. He’s a great guy. Of course, if he doesn’t come through, I won’t like him quite as much,” Trump said.
ABC News also noted that in a sit-down interview with Trump and Karl on March 18, the former president didn’t push back on a report from the New York Times detailing a phone call Trump had with Pence on the morning of Jan. 6 in which the then-president tried pressuring Pence by reportedly telling him: “You can be a patriot or you can be a p****.”
“I wouldn’t dispute it,” Trump told Karl repeatedly, according to ABC News.
Following the call on the morning of Jan. 6, Trump would go on to urge his supporters to “fight like hell” to overturn the election results, which included urging Pence to “come through for us,” during a “Stop the Steal” rally hours before Trump supporters breached the Capitol.
Even as Trump supporters shouted “Hang Mike Pence” during the attack, Trump told Karl that he never reached out to his VP that day to check on his safety.
“No, I thought he was well-protected, and I had heard that he was in good shape,” Trump told Karl. “No, because I had heard he was in very good shape.”
Trump went on to fully stand by his supporters’ chants.
“He could have — well, the people were very angry,” Trump said, according to ABC News. “If you know a vote is fraudulent, right, how can you pass on a fraudulent vote to Congress? How can you do that?” Trump said.
After insisting that he would still be in the White House if Pence followed his orders, Trump dodged when asked if he would ever forgive Pence for certifying Biden’s electoral victory. Trump did not indicate whether Pence would be on his shortlist for VP if the former president were to launch another run in 2024.
“He did the wrong thing,” Trump told Karl, according to ABC News. “A very nice man. I like him a lot. I like his family so much. But … it was a tragic mistake.”