Former Vice President Mike Pence’s refusal to get into a Secret Service vehicle during the January 6 Capitol riot is being called “chilling” as the House select committee prepares to reveal its findings sometime before the end of the year.
Speaking at a Thursday event hosted by the Georgetown University’s Center on Faith and Justice, Democratic Representative Jamie Raskin of Maryland, who is also a member of the committee investigating the Capitol riot, accused former President Donald Trump of attempting to organize a coup to circumvent Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election and stay in power. During the talk, he called special attention to a tense moment involving Pence, NBC News reported.
After being taken to an undisclosed portion of the Capitol during the riot, Pence’s Secret Service agents, whom Raskin suspected were reporting directly to Trump’s security detail, asked him to enter an armored limousine. The intent, some have theorized, was to drive Pence away from the building, preventing him from certifying the election results, after he had signaled his unwillingness to go against his duties and keep Trump in power.
“[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,'” Raskin said. “He knew exactly what this inside coup they had planned for was going to do.”
This moment was previously reported during an interview for the book, I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year by Washington Post reporters Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig. According to Tim Giebels, the lead agent inside of Pence’s security on January 6, Pence repeatedly refused to be evacuated from the Capitol until the election results were certified, The Washington Examiner reported.
“I’m not getting in the car, Tim,” Pence said, in response to Giebels’ insistence that he enter the armored vehicle. “I trust you, Tim, but you’re not driving the car. If I get in that vehicle, you guys are taking off. I’m not getting in the car.”
Raskin discussed the House select committee’s investigation further on Thursday, alleging in no uncertain terms that Trump and his closest confidants attempted to organize a coup following the 2020 election.
“This was not a coup directed at the president,” the congressman said. “It was a coup directed by the president against the vice president and against the Congress.”
Newsweek reached out to Pence’s representatives for comment.