I daresay this is what I had at the time thought to be the case: VP Mike Pence had been thinking of just bailing on the electoral count on 1/6 because he didn't know if he had the stones to do the right thing.
Or to hear (mostly) him put it:
According to sources, one of Pence's notes obtained by Smith's team shows that, days before Pence was set to preside over Congress certifying the election results on Jan. 6, 2021, he momentarily decided that he would skip the proceedings altogether, writing in the note that there were "too many questions" and it would otherwise be "too hurtful to my friend." But he ultimately concluded he had a duty to show up.
Speaking with Smith's team, Pence insisted his loyalty to President Trump at the time never faltered -- "My only higher loyalty was to God and the Constitution," sources described Pence as telling them.
The part I really like there is "notes". It's in writing. That's like "no takesies-backsies." But the thing where Pence sees doing his constitutional duty as being too hurtful to his friend just kills me. I have made jokes here and there about Mike Pence's Nancy Reagan eyes in Trump's direction and talk of his "broad shoulders"--and the admiration was so wild The Daily Show did a riff on it:
This is near to my theory that in Trump's mind, if his fingers were crossed during his oath of office, he could do what he liked. It's the same principle as his much-discussed "disclaimers" in his NY civil trial. https://t.co/qtSyQ8iDkC— Vixen Strangely (@VixenStrangely) November 28, 2023
He never said he'd support the Constitution. Even if protecting and defending are kinds of support, and you would think someone might actually support the document that created his office and established his various powers. This seems like the same kind of word game garbage that "It's a republic not a democracy" people want to pull so they can disrespect the will of the voters. It's the Lewis Carroll argument via Humpty Dumpty: "when I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean--neither more nor less."
So, is something that intellectually facile supposed to work? Yeah well, someone just argued that Trump in the Office of President wasn't an officer of the United States so, I guess you might as well try anything once. And just, you know--cross your fingers.
You know who has run out of fingers? Rudy Giuliani. Mark Meadows. And Donald Trump. If the Fulton County AG office has anything to say about it. Apparently, in a RICO case, being at or close to the top is bad. But especially Rudy Giuliani because he has no leverage in either being an unreliable witness or being able to afford a kickass legal team. And he may still be wondering why Trump hasn't swept in with more vigor: duh. Giuliani can't give up Trump without giving up himself a lot.
But who knows--maybe Trump never really runs out of fingers: his legal team wants to get docs I guess that prove his lies were right it sounds like? It's so unfair. He's politically persecuted. And the DOJ is leaning on his good friend, Mike Pence.
OK, whatever, bud. Keep crossing those fingers. But Trump should know, some of his old buddies might feel really crossed by him, by now.