Mike Pence Threw Trump Under the Bus Via ‘Contemporaneous Notes,’ Which Is Hilarious

Trump egged on his supporters calling for Pence to be hanged, then Pence took damning notes that legally "hanged" Trump. Ha ha, these two are a mess!

Mike Pence Threw Trump Under the Bus Via ‘Contemporaneous Notes,’ Which Is Hilarious
Photo:Bloomberg (Getty Images)

It’s a tale as old as time: A foul-mouthed reality star taps you to be his veep because of your known credentials as an evangelist killjoy. You team up, take the White House by storm, and he lets you do your thing—that is, targeting and dehumanizing queer people and women. It’s all going very smoothly until the two of you lose the 2020 election together, he asks you to overturn the outcome of said election—which you don’t even have the power to do—and then he basically tells his supporters to murder you!

Such is the ballad of Mike Pence and Donald Trump, the ex-dynamic duo who are now running against each other in the 2024 Republican primary. And just when you thought things couldn’t get juicier than Trump last year defending his supporters who called for Pence to be hanged, I give you this latest development: Pence played a key role in Trump’s latest indictment via the meticulous, “contemporaneous notes” he took as Trump tried to foment a coup, per the indictment.

Indeed, a federal grand jury on Tuesday indicted Trump on four felony charges related to the Jan. 6 insurrection, marking Trump’s second federal indictment in two months. The indictment cites substantial new evidence from Pence, who seems to have found Trump either wildly dangerous or wildly unpredictable (perhaps wildly entertaining?) enough to have taken extensive notes about what Trump and top advisers were saying to him at the time. Per the indictment, Pence recounts Trump telling him, “Bottom line—won every state by 100,000s of votes,” and that the Department of Justice was “finding major infractions” in the 2020 election results. (To state the obvious, neither of these claims is rooted in any version of reality.)

On Christmas, when Pence phoned up Trump to simply wish him a merry Christmas, the then-president hijacked the call to make it all about the supposedly stolen election. And then, on Jan. 1, 2021, days before the insurrection, Pence claims that Trump called him on the phone and told him he’s “too honest,” because Pence was unwilling to refuse to certify the election as the president of the Senate.

These notes from Pence aren’t exactly new information—we all watched Trump peer-pressure his VP in real time via Twitter at the end of 2020 and in January 2021. On the evening of Jan. 6, Trump tweeted that he’d lost solely because Pence didn’t “have the courage to do what should have been done.” So, there’s that. But what’s new in all of this is Pence’s seeming decision to turn on the former president.

As recently as last week, Pence declined to condemn Trump’s actions on Jan. 6 as criminal: “I would rather that these issues and the judgment about his conduct on January 6 be left to the American people in the upcoming primaries,” he said. But it turns out that in the background of all of his timid refusals to criticize Trump’s actions, he’d taken extensive notes and pages of evidence that have now turned up in Trump’s third indictment this year. And to top it all off, he proceeded to do a victory lap on Twitter on Tuesday night: “Today’s indictment serves as an important reminder: anyone who puts himself over the Constitution should never be President of the United States,” Pence wrote. Ope!

In an equally juicy thread, Pence promised more tea (“I will have more to say”), deftly pivoted to the existential threat that Hunter Biden poses to the republic, and then stuck the landing by making it all about himself: Pence’s final tweet begins, “As your president,” which is a bold preface from a man polling at 3% (yes, the same number of percentage points as Trump has indictments now!).

Delusional or not, as CBS News’ Robert Costa put it on Tuesday night, Pence “could end up being the most important witness in this case.” So, when, exactly, did Pence flip? Did he stream rapper Jack Harlow’s song about holding your male friends accountable? Did he have a particularly visceral nightmare about Trump supporters chanting “Hang Mike Pence!” recently? Perhaps he’ll answer these and other burning questions in the next indictment round.

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