Mike Pence on January 6th: He Didn’t have the Huevos, and never will
Updated: Sep 29, 2022
By Jake McLean
Former Vice President (VP) Mike Pence, by most accounts, was a loyal VP to President Trump. But ever since his 6 January 2021 statement–issued minutes before he was to perform his constitutional duties as the presiding official over the electoral vote count for the 2020 presidential election, it’s become clear that he did what could be called his “coming out” as a creature of the Washington DC Deep State Uniparty (DSU—A.K.A, the Swamp). His DSU status has solidified in the 2022 election cycle as he has purposely moved to endorse Republican-in-Name-Only (RINO) candidates in direct opposition to President Trump’s MAGA movement endorsements. Pence’s coming out as a DSU member was no surprise to many close observers: he doesn’t have the Huevos, and never will, to confront the DSU. After all, having the huevos (metaphor for courage irrespective of your gender) is the irreducible essence of MAGA leaders fighting for all that encompasses the America First agenda and political movement.
The congressional January 6th (Un)Select Committee has salivated over Pence’s role ever since his written statement issued that day:
. . . [It’s] my considered judgment that my oath to support and defend the Constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not.
Later statements in speeches by Pence have continued on that enormously disingenuous theme that President Trump was pushing him to just go into the session and act like an extra-constitutional partisan dictator and just “steal the election for Trump.” Since that day, this is the canard that the Demofascist Media Complex (DMC) has run with like their posteriors were ablaze.
What Trump was asking Pence to do on January 6th
Plainly stated, President Trump wanted Pence, per his role as President of the Senate, and executing his duties under the 12th Amendment to the Constitution, to simply recognize the seven states where there were disputes over which slate of electors should be counted i.e., each of these seven states had conflicting slates of electors and/or there were ongoing hearings/debates in their state legislatures over how their electors should be counted (Article II, Section 1 of our Constitution details the duties of legislatures in the states to appoint “a Number of Electors….”).
President Trump wanted Pence to acknowledge the seven states where there were disputes resulting in two slates of electors, and as represented in the proceedings by at least one House representative and one senator for each disputed state. Once that was manifested as the role was taken of the states on Jan 6, the electoral count would have been Trump 232, Biden 222 (this count excludes electoral votes from the disputed seven states). According to constitutional lawyer John Eastland’s memo to Trump in January 2021, there were three constitutional options for Pence:
He could declare Trump the President by the 232-222 electoral vote count;
Send it to the House of Representatives for each state delegation of House members to vote by simple majority within each delegation. Each delegation would represent one vote for Trump or Biden for President (at that time, the Republicans had a majority in 26 of the state delegations); or,
Declare a temporary suspension of the proceeding and formally notify each of the seven state legislatures that they must, with dispatch, ensure they submit only one approved slate of electors by a date certain (e.g., ten days–January 17th).
My view is that option #3 would have been the most constitutionally pure and also would have served to underscore the original intent of Article II, Section 1 responsibilities of state legislatures in our electoral process. But Pence simply didn’t have the huevos to execute this option as he would have instantly replaced Trump as the DSU’s/DMC’s most reviled person. In fairness to Pence, few others would had the huevos either.
Throughout the DMC’s reporting on Jan 6 and Pence’s role, they’ve continually emphasized that the three options outlined previously were NOT/NOT in Pence’s authorities. If true, inquiring minds would like to know why there’s a need now to legislatively modify the Electoral Count Reform Act of 1887? The DSU is moving to do just that. In doing so, the new legislation appears to violate Article II, Section 1 of our Constitution (as cited previously) by placing the responsibilities for certifying a state’s slate of electors with the Governor vice the constitutionally directed state legislatures (in the future, much easier for the DSU/DMC to pressure a governor than a state legislature in it’s entirety, no?).
But the most salient modification to the Electoral Count Reform Act DSU is proposing makes “the vice president’s role regarding the certification process ‘solely ministerial’.” Again, if as DSU/DMC have argued that Pence’s role was solely ministerial, why now change the law to make it that way? This debunks and puts to shame the canard that Pence was powerless to make decisions on multiple slates of electors on January 6.
Other thoughts on Pence
Some other thoughts to consider on Pence’s courage, judgment, and motives. During the transition period after the 2016 election, Pence was instrumental in promoting former Indiana Senator Dan Coats to Trump to be the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). Pence also convinced Trump that newly selected National Security Advisor (NSA) Lieutenant General (Retired) Mike Flynn had lied to him and should be fired with what later was revealed to be a blatant attempt by the FBI to set a perjury trap on Flynn.
The dual impact of Coats’ disloyal, feckless tenure as DNI as well as Flynn’s firing in the first weeks of the Trump Administration can’t be overstated.
Coats’ inability to serve loyally and strongly as DNI gave the DSU intelligence community (IC) agencies license to participate fully in the unprecedented disruption of the Trump administration to include to impeachments. The categorical accounting of the impact of Coats tenure establishing a “disruption-friendly” environment is well beyond the scope of this article, but it was significant.
General Flynn had served as a career military intelligence officer and most recently as President Obama’s Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). Obama fired Flynn in 2014 for his truth-telling on several major intelligence issues. If Flynn had served as NSA, it’s hard to fathom that the IC agencies would have been able to get away with their wanton illegal and unconstitutional abuses (e.g., multiple Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) abuses) undermining a duly elected president. Flynn knew the IC stem to stern–he knew where the bodies were buried and where future ones would be. All that would have been timely advice to a President Trump new to the Swamp. In several pre-inauguration briefings by the IC to President-elect Trump, Flynn was the canary-in-the-coal mine for Trump on numerous issues being briefed by the IC. It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to conceptualize how extremely valuable Flynn’s constant presence would have been to President Trump. No wonder Obama–knowing he had authorized the IC and FBI spying (Crossfire Hurricane) on the Trump campaign and Administration–several times tried to convince Trump not to hire Flynn during Trump’s transition period.
With Coats at best asleep at the wheel and Flynn fired, Crossfire Hurricane and abuse of the FISA could continue unabated, and any IC reform that Flynn would advocate and lead was laid to waste.
In recent months, Pence has been clearly setting himself up as the RINO alternative to Trump for 2024. He has chosen to go against Trump to endorse RINO alternatives to candidates that Trump has endorsed. Not once has he chosen to co-endorse a candidate that Trump has endorsed. There may be some of these, but he has only chosen to publicly endorse candidates running against a Trump-endorsed candidate. For political reasons, he’s using these endorsements to separate himself from Trump’s America First movement to gain the love and adulation of the DSU/DMC (see how well the late Senator John McCain’s similar flirtation with DSU/DMC helped his presidential aspirations).
I assert to you that Mike Pence never had the huevos to stand tall as an America First proponent. His actions early on in the Trump Administration with Coats and Flynn were just harbingers of his momentous act of constitutional cowardice on January 6.