Despite his best efforts, former Vice President Mike Pence lost his bid to avoid the grand jury exploring those responsible for the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and the attempt to overturn the 2020 election. It prompted a discussion on MSNBC about some of the evidence revealed by the House Select Committee during their 2022 probe.
Host Nicolle Wallace focused on information from the Jan. 6 committee and shared in Pence's autobiography in which he refused to get into a limousine once rushed to a safe location. Pence told his Secret Service lead that he didn't know who was driving the car, implying he didn't trust them.
New York Times reporter Luke Broadwater brought up the number of Republican lawmakers requesting pardons for themselves before former President Donald Trump left office. Wallace noted that people generally only beg for a pardon if they know they've committed a crime. Given Pence knows many of those Republican officials, he could shed some light on the role those lawmakers played. They were able to skirt testifying before the Congressional investigation.
Democratic strategist Basil Smikle said that the information he thinks about the most is that the Jan. 6 attack wasn't a spontaneous action. It was plotted, planned, organized, and in some cases even funded by people who, he claimed, escaped accountability.
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"You're the president of the United States and the vice president having these conversations, you think that members of Congress who would be engaged in those conversations anyway with the president or vice president did not know or have any clue that this was being discussed? That they were going to be potential consequences for anybody who did not follow through on what Donald Trump wanted?" Smikle asked with disbelief. He went on to say that he thinks that politically speaking, more people should be held accountable.
"I go back to the earlier point: there are people voting on policy right now that may never be held accountable for what happened," he continued. "And that's why you see in places like New York. Independents now outnumber Republicans in the state. I'm sure it's a trend that's happening around the country. Not because it's an end of conservatism, but it's a sign that there are a lot of folks that want to get away from Donald Trump."
He lamented that those lawmakers probably wouldn't be held accountable in the end, however.
"See, 'probably will not be,'" Wallace repeated. "We're all beaten down."
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She went on to say that it wasn't a delusion coming from the left, there is actual evidence of GOP officials asking for pardons. Cassidy Hutchinson testified to it, naming names. None of the lawmakers revealed to have asked for pardons have been forced to answer questions about it under oath.
"So, those members, in their words, in their conversations with President Trump, sought pardons not to hang on the wall but because they were worried they committed crimes. Where is DOJ?" Wallace asked. "I'm sure Luke Broadwater's reporting is spot on. None of them seem to be under scrutiny."
Conservative Charlie Sykes called it "frustrating," joining in the complaints about inaction by the Justice Department. He said that justice would not be done until every conspirator was held accountable in a court of law.
Former federal prosecutor Joyce White Vance agreed that the greatest miscarriage of justice is coming from those who carried out the violence but not the architects of it.
There's a larger question about what Pence knew as the Jan. 6 "stop the steal" rally was being organized. At a time when he was facing pressure from lawmakers as well as the president. Pence has never revealed who was calling him personally. The only information that is public comes from social media posts.
"Just because something appears to be a crime doesn't always mean that prosecutors end up with sufficient evidence to end up with guilt beyond a reasonable doubt," Vance explained. "This fact that Mike Pence will now testify under subpoena to, sort of, come full circle might open up new opportunities. We don't know what conversations Pence, who was a creature of the House might have had with his former colleagues. It may be he has something to add. He certainly has tried to avoid testifying for as long as and in as many ways as possible."
Wallace brought up the reason that Pence refused to get in the car. Broadwater noted that Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) brought that up, as did former Pence chief of staff Marc Short.
Wallace said that the details about Pence being worried about the car "unlocks everything about premeditation. I was in the White House for six years. I never heard of any protectee defying the Secret Service. What were you worried about? Where did you think they would take you? He must have known at the Capitol, the White House, a division existed he was on one side of it and Donald Trump on the other. We're talking about Mike Pence under oath, ascribing these political ambitions and that's all true. But if you can't lie, as Joyce said, simple questions like why didn't you get in the car could be incredibly incriminating for Donald Trump and his allies."
See the full discussion below or at the link here.
Experts alert grand jury on questions for Mike Penceyoutu.be