Warnings To Pence About Jan. 6 Included Another Trumpian Quid Pro Quo

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 04: Vice President Mike Pence speaks as U.S. President Donald Trump participates in a signing ceremony and meeting with the President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic and the Prime Minister of Ko... WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 04: Vice President Mike Pence speaks as U.S. President Donald Trump participates in a signing ceremony and meeting with the President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic and the Prime Minister of Kosovo Avdullah Hoti in the Oval Office of the White House on September 4, 2020 in Washington, DC. The Trump administration is hosting the leaders to discuss furthering their economic relations. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images) MORE LESS

The pressure campaign to sway then-Vice President Mike Pence into stealing the 2020 election for Donald Trump led Pence’s chief of staff to alert Pence’s security detail, and included an extremely Trumpian quid pro quo, The New York Times reported Friday

In the days ahead of the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, Pence was under sustained pressure from the then-President to use his ministerial (but largely symbolic) role in counting Electoral College votes to, instead, throw out the votes and deliver the election to Trump.

That pressure campaign ultimately led Pence’s chief of staff Marc Short to fear for Pence’s safety, the Times reported.

The day before the Capitol attack, Short warned Pence’s lead Secret Service agent that then-President Donald Trump was going to turn against Pence, and, in the Times’ words, that “there could be a security risk to Mr. Pence because of it.” 

That warning was one of several indicators listed in the report that Trump was attempting to turn the screws on Pence: Trump reportedly sought to arrange a meeting between Pence and Sidney Powell, the Trump-allied lawyer that falsely alleged a vast conspiracy to rig the election. Some on Pence’s team were suspicious Powell would serve Pence with legal papers, the Times reported.

Separately, Pence reportedly received a memo from the Trump aide and noted football trickshot artist John McEntee with the text, “JEFFERSON USED HIS POSITION AS VP TO WIN.”

But most intriguingly, the Times reported that Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, informed Short that Trump was withholding transition funds for Pence that could be used to establish a post-White House office. That development, per the report, “left the Pence team on high alert about the pressure campaign.” 

The funds were ultimately approved, the Times reported — soon after Jan. 6. 

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