A top aide to Mike Pence reportedly warned the Secret Service of potential threats to the then-vice president on the day before the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol, according to newly revealed details.
In a Jan. 5, 2021 telephone call with Special Agent Tim Giebels, Mr. Pence’s chief of staff Marc Short reportedly warned that President Trump planned to “publicly turn” against Mr. Pence and that doing so would endanger the vice president’s life.
Details of the call were first reported Friday by New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman. Ms. Haberman said she uncovered the warning while researching for her upcoming book “Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America.”
Mr. Trump had publicly pressured Mr. Pence to stop the certification of the 2020 Presidential Election in the days leading up to Jan. 6, 2021 - when a joint session of Congress convened to certify the Electoral College votes and confirm Joe Biden as President.
Mr. Short’s concern arose out of fears that a disagreement between Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence could further inflame Mr. Trump’s supporters as many traveled to Washington for planned rallies on the day of the certification.
Mr. Short was not alerted to any specific plots posing a threat to Mr. Pence, according to people familiar with the events, per Ms. Haberman.
It is unclear what actions if any, Mr. Giebels took given Mr. Short’s warning. Mr. Pence’s office declined to comment for the New York Times article. The Secret Service did not respond to The New York Times’ request for comment.
In a letter to Congress on the day of the certification, Mr. Pence denied that he had the powers as vice president to overturn the election, despite pressure from Mr. Trump to dismiss the Electoral College votes.
Mr. Trump persisted in pressuring Mr. Pence to “stand up for the good of our Constitution and for the good of our country” at the “Stop the Steal” rally at the Ellipse just before thousands of Mr. Trump’s supporters made their way to the Capitol to protest the certification.
Some of Mr. Trump’s supporters chanted “Hang Mike Pence” as they converged at the Capitol as the vice president oversaw the certification.
Mr. Short testified by the House committee investigating the attack on the Capitol in January of this year and was reportedly asked by investigators about his conversation with Mr. Giebels, according to people familiar with his appearance before the panel.
CNN has reported that the House committee is expected to ask Mr. Short to testify in an upcoming public hearing in which the panel plans to begin unpacking its findings as its nearly yearlong probe enters its public phase.
• Joseph Clark can be reached at email@example.com.
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