In Defying the Odds, we discuss Trump's dishonesty and his record of disregarding the rule of law. Our next book, Divided We Stand, looks at the 2020 election and the January 6 insurrection. We now know that Trump fired up the mob against Pence after learning about the violence at the Capitol. Was he trying to get them to kill Pence, or did he just not care one way or the other? There was danger all around.
Frank Figliuzzi at MSNBC:
Speaking about the threats to Pence on Jan. 6 and the shouts by rioters to hang him, Raskin said, “The vice president's Secret Service agents – including one who was carrying the nuclear football – ran down to an undisclosed place in the Capitol." Those agents, who Raskin said he suspects were reporting to Trump’s Secret Service agents, were trying to whisk Pence away from the Capitol. At that point, Raskin said, Pence "uttered what I think are the six most chilling words of this entire thing I've seen so far: 'I'm not getting in that car.'" According to Raskin, Pence "knew exactly what this inside coup they had planned for was going to do.”
The nation needs to know whether its vice president did or did not trust the Secret Service to do the right thing for democracy and uphold the oath taken by its agents to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution
What about the mob? What could they do, had they grabbed the Football? First, it’s very unlikely that they could have grabbed it. The Secret Service agents around Pence would almost certainly meet any such attempt with deadly force. There would have been a dozen or more dead rioters scattered on the bloodied floor near the staircase where Pence, his family, and his entourage had gathered. If the mob’s survivors kept mauling and overpowering Pence and the others, they might not have thought to grab the Football, which is locked in a metal case tucked inside an ordinary-looking satchel. Even if they had grabbed the satchel, bashed the lock, and opened the case, they wouldn’t have known what to do with the stuff inside. Had they figured it out, the officers in the Pentagon would have known the signals were coming from an unauthorized source.
Could the mob have taken the Football and sold it to the Russians or some other adversary? It would be worth millions of dollars. Despite the militias’ self-image as “patriots,” it’s not out of the question. According to a U.S. District Court affidavit, Riley June Williams, the Pennsylvania woman accused of breaching the Capitol and stealing Pelosi’s laptop on Jan. 6, intended to give the computer “to a friend in Russia, who then planned to sell the device to SVR, Russia’s foreign intelligence service.”
Whatever might have happened if the mob had caught up with Pence, we all escaped a disaster scene, almost certainly a bloodbath, and possibly a national security compromise by a much closer margin than we have known.