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Mike Pence told investigators he originally planned to skip the electoral certification on January 6 before his son convinced him otherwise

Mike Pence
Republican presidential candidate, former Vice President Mike Pence looks down as he speaks at the Pray Vote Stand Summit at the Omni Shoreham Hotel on September 15, 2023, in Washington, DC.Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images
  • Mike Pence oversaw the congressional certification of the presidential election on January 6, 2021.

  • A new report says he didn't plan to attend it. His son convinced him otherwise.

  • "You took the same oath I took," Lt. Michael J. Pence reportedly told his father.

On January 6, 2021, Vice President Mike Pence led the joint session of Congress to certify Joe Biden as the winner of the November 2020 election to become president of the United States. According to a new report, however, that wasn't always his plan.

ABC News spoke with sources close to Special Counsel Jack Smith's investigation into an alleged plan by former President Donald Trump and his associates to overturn the results of the presidential election. They said that Smith's team received notes written by Pence days prior to January 6 where the former vice president said he had made the decision to be absent from the certification proceedings.

The note reportedly said that he believed there were "too many questions" about the election and that attending it would be "too hurtful to my friend," presumably meaning Trump, the president.

Behind the scenes, Pence also reportedly told investigators that Trump repeatedly pushed him to throw out specific votes during the certification process in an effort to stop it from proceeding, though Pence said he never personally believed it was an idea worth pursuing.

"I told him I thought there was no idea more un-American than the idea that any one person could decide what electoral votes to count," Pence said.

Despite Pence's private conversations with the president at the time, Trump still publicly pushed on X (at the time, Twitter) for his vice president to do his bidding.

Ultimately, Pence told investigators he briefly accepted that he'd skip the certification on January 6 altogether. That is, until he spoke with his Marine son whilst vacationing in Colorado. ABC News said that during the trip, Lt. Michael J. Pence told his father, "You took the same oath I took."

The two of them, the younger Pence said, shared a commitment: "An oath to support and defend the Constitution."

That, based on what Pence told investigators, is the moment the vice president changed his mind and decided to attend the certification vote after all.

He ultimately attended and led the joint certification vote both before and after pro-Trump rioters broke into the Capitol in an attempt to prevent Congress from following through with the certification process.

Recently, in the 2024 presidential election, Pence led a campaign of his own against Trump and a slate of other GOP candidates but dropped out of the race at the end of October as his support in polling flatlined.

Read the original article on Business Insider