Indictment: Trump Pressured Pence in Christmas Day Call

And again on New Year's Day, indictment says
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2023 12:00 AM CDT
Indictment: Trump Pressured Pence in Christmas Phone Call
In this image released in the final report by the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol, President Trump talks on the phone to Vice President Mike Pence from the Oval Office of the White House on Jan. 6, 2021.   (House Select Committee via AP)

On Christmas Day in 2020, then-VP Mike Pence called then-President Donald Trump to wish him a happy holiday. Trump, however, "quickly turned the conversation to January 6 and his request that the Vice President reject electoral votes that day," according to the unsealed indictment against Trump for alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election cited by USA Today. Pence repeated what he'd told Trump in prior conversations on the matter: "You know I don't think I have the authority to change the outcome." According to Intelligencer, which rounds up what it calls "the craziest details" from the latest indictment, Trump also called Pence a week later, on the first day of 2021, to berate him for not going along with Trump's plan. During that conversation, Trump reportedly told Pence, "You're too honest."

Pence's chief of staff reportedly started worrying that Trump was putting Pence's life in danger with his continued insistence that Pence should be able to overturn the election results, and after a conversation in which a frustrated Trump told Pence he would have to "publicly criticize" him if he refused, Pence's chief of staff contacted the Secret Service with his concerns. On Jan. 6, per the indictment, an angry Trump reinserted language into his Stop the Steal rally speech that had previously been removed, and which falsely claimed Pence had the power to overturn the election results. (Here's how Pence responded to Trump's indictment.)

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