Capitol Riot

Vice President Refused to Leave Capitol Complex

Pence sheltered in a secure location until the proceedings could continue more than four hours later

Vice President Mike Pence refused to get into a car waiting for him in a secure underground location as the Capitol was being attacked because he was determined to remain at the complex, his general counsel said on Thursday.

“The vice president did not want to take any chance that the world would see the vice president of the United States fleeing the United States Capitol,” his general counsel Greg Jacob testified to the House Jan. 6 committee. “He was determined that we would complete the work that we had set out to do that day, that it was his constitutional duty to see it through and that the rioters who had breached the Capitol would not have the satisfaction of disrupting the proceedings beyond the day on which they were supposed to be completed.” 

The Secret Service had directed Pence and his top aides to get into the waiting cars, Jacob said. He did but then got out again when he realized the vice president had not.  The head of Pence’s security detail, Tim Giebles, told the vice president, “I assure you we are not going to drive out of the building without your permission.”

“Tim, I know you, I trust you, but you’re not the one behind the wheel," Pence replied according to Jacob.

The vice president spent four and a half hours in the secure spot before returning to the Senate floor to continue certifying electors. While there he reached out to congressional leaders and others to make sure that they were safe. Asked how he and his wife reacted after failing to hear from Trump, Jacob said, “With frustration.”

A confidential informant had told the FBI that members of the Proud Boys said they would have killed Pence if given the chance.

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