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Pence Provided Jack Smith With Post-2020 Election Details Detrimental to Trump: Report

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Former Vice President Mike Pence, whose bid for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination earlier this year was shortlived, reportedly provided details to special counsel Jack Smith about the aftermath of the 2020 election that doesn’t put former President Donald Trump in a good light, according to a published report.

“Speaking with special counsel Jack Smith’s team earlier this year,” ABC News reported, Pence “offered harrowing details about how, in the wake of the 2020 presidential election,” Trump “surrounded himself with ‘crank’ attorneys, espoused ‘un-American’ legal theories, and almost pushed the country toward a ‘constitutional crisis,’ according to sources familiar with what Pence told investigators.”

The outlet also reported that Pence told federal investigators he is “sure” that, in the days before the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol Building, he told Trump he had yet to see any real evidence of significant election fraud, adding that the then-president was not convinced and continued to make claims of a “stolen” election while acting “recklessly” on that “tragic day.”

ABC News adds: “Pence is the highest-ranking current or former government official known to have spoken with the special counsel team investigating efforts to overturn the 2020 election. What he allegedly told investigators, described exclusively to ABC News, sheds further light on the evidence Smith’s team has amassed as it prosecutes Trump for allegedly trying to unlawfully ‘remain in power’ and “erode public faith” in democratic institutions. Pence could take the stand against Trump should Smith’s election interference case go to trial, which is currently slated to occur in March.”

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The outlet noted further that a great deal of what Pence told Smith’s investigators is exactly what he has said publicly. ABC News said that investigators kept honing in on details Pence included in a book he published last year, seeking to have him confirm under oath what he wrote.

“But speaking with Smith’s team behind closed doors, Pence also offered previously-undisclosed anecdotes and details showing how his longtime friendship with Trump unraveled in the final weeks of their time in the White House, including Pence’s repeated warnings to Trump about the then-president’s push to overturn the election results,” the outlet reported.

“Sources said that in at least one interview with Pence, Smith’s investigators pressed the former vice president on personal notes he took after meetings with Trump and others, which investigators obtained from the National Archives,” ABC added.

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Sources said that one Pence note that Smith’s team obtained shows that days before the then-VP was to preside over Congress and certify the election results on Jan. 6, he decided for a moment that he might skip the proceedings, writing in the note that there were “too many questions” and it would be “too hurtful to my friend.”

Ultimately, however, Pence decided it was his duty to preside over the session.

“My only higher loyalty was to God and the Constitution,” Pence told Smith’s team, sources told ABC News.

Pence wrote in his book about a conversation he had with Trump on Christmas Day, 2020. “You know, I don’t think I have the authority to change the outcome” of an election, he said.

But Pence told Smith’s investigators that the comma should not have been included in the sentence and that he actually admonished Trump by saying, “You know I don’t think I have the authority to change the outcome” of the election, which suggested that Trump was aware his vice president had limitations.

“Pence said he grew concerned when, within days of the election, Trump began ignoring the advice of credible and experienced attorneys inside the White House, instead relying on outside attorneys like Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, who pushed notions of widespread election fraud and, as Pence allegedly told Smith’s team, ‘did a great disservice to the president and a great disservice to the country,'” ABC reported, adding that Pence said Trump “knew what I thought of those attorneys.”

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