Not enough care was taken that Mike Pence, his family, and any member of Congress could have been killed in Trump’s terrorist attack on the US Capitol building this week.
Photos from the riot show a Trump supporter in the U.S. Senate visitor gallery who appears to be wearing a large number of zippered handcuffs.
Were the insurgents planning to take hostages? Looks like it.
Worse still, Mike Pence chaired a joint congressional session, which at the time was split into two separate sessions, House and Senate. Trump had already made it clear that Pence was a traitor in his eyes for refusing to cast votes from a number of states that Trump falsely claimed to have won. Several of the rioters roamed the halls of Congress yelling, “Where’s Mike Pence?”
The mob appeared to be motivated in part by far-right social media sites like Parler and Gab. From the Washington Post:
On Parler and Gab, the far-right social media sites, Trump supporters urged the crowd in Washington to find and address Vice President Pence, who Trump had pressured to use his ceremonial role on Wednesday to reverse the election results. Within minutes, factions of the Capitol crowd were chanting, “Where’s Pence?”
Imagine the reaction of the crowd if they got their hands on the man who refused to save their savior. And Pence wasn’t alone. The Vice President was there with his wife Karen, 27-year-old daughter Charlotte, and Pence’s brother Rep. Greg Pence (R-IN).
Mike isn’t the only pence who could have been injured or killed in Trump’s coup attempt.
US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and future Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer have both called for Trump to be impeached, either through the 25th Amendment or impeachment. Some have suggested that there is no point in removing Trump only thirteen days before Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20. But is it?
Just look at the carnage Trump could wreak in one day. With thirteen more available, we’ve seen violence at Joe Biden’s inauguration, violence in state capitals across the country, and we must not forget that Trump has the entire nuclear arsenal of the United States. There were already concerns that Trump might try to start a war with Iran in his final days in office – just because. Trump is determined to sabotage Biden’s presidency and handing him over to war with Iran and an exploding Middle East is a surefire way to do so.
There are some benefits to having Trump removed. First, we avoid a possible nuclear war. But Trump also loses the ability to pardon others as soon as he is no longer in office. (Not that Trump wouldn’t try to squeeze a bunch together at the last minute, including his fellow terrorists who attacked the U.S. Capitol.) But there’s another pardon issue I’m concerned about: Trump himself. Too At this point, it’s hard to imagine that Trump won’t try to forgive himself. The good news is that it’s not clear that such a pardon is even legal. The pardon would have to be checked in court by indicting Trump (which works for me). But if Trump resigns early or is removed, Mike Pence will open the door to apologize to his former boss. Well, sure, Trump was just trying to kill Pence and his family, so you’d think there’s an ongoing animosity between the two men. Still, I could see Pence doing the “Christian thing” and pardoning Trump.
There’s also the question of the impact of the impeachment versus the 25th Amendment that might interest all Republicans considering running for president in 2024. If Trump is charged, he can also be banned from ever running for federal office again. (The Senate has the power to punish Trump by convicting him of impeachment and either just removing him from office or removing him from office and forbids him ever to seek a federal agency again.) With the 25th Amendment, Trump can do it again. I could see Trump running again in 2024 to save face, but also to fool everyone who didn’t stand up for his cause this time. And then there’s the handle …
The end or just the beginning?
Was trumpism’s last heavy breath yesterday or the dawn of a dangerous new era?
You can read the rest of my article in my new Substack newsletter CyberDisobedience.