Mike Pence figures out Donald Trump is toast, finally comes out against Trump


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This past week we all learned that multiple senior members of Mike Pence’s vice presidential staff gave cooperative testimony to the January 6th Committee. We flagged this as being important for two reasons. First, it meant that the committee now has Pence’s story whether Pence ever decides to testify or not. Second, the specter of these witnesses eventually testifying in public hearings was going to place tremendous pressure on Pence to also testify against Trump.

It looks like Mike Pence has now figured out which way the proverbial wind is blowing, and he’s belatedly trying to head in an opportunistic direction accordingly. After a full year of refusing to speak out against Donald Trump with regard to January 6th, Pence gave a speech to the far right Federalist Society and declared that “Trump is wrong.” Pence went on to explain that it would not have been possible for him to have overturned the election in Trump’s favor. Notably, the far right Republican crowd applauded โ€“ suggesting they also understand that Trump is toast.

Mike Pence deserves almost zero credit for this โ€“ where has he been for the past year? โ€“ but this is nonetheless a crucial development. It means Pence has concluded that not only is Trump going down for January 6th, but also that the most politically advantageous position for a Republican presidential candidate to take going forward is that Trump was wrong for even trying to pull off the January 6th coup.

Pence clearly wants to run for the Republican nomination for President in 2024, and he’s beginning the process of staking himself to the position that Trump must go down for the good of the party. This means that Pence thinks this position will give him the best odds of winning in 2024. In reality, Pence has no chance in 2024 no matter what position he takes. But Pence is the kind of snake who usually knows which way the wind is going to end up blowing. Now we wait to see whether he uses this as a first step in eventually testifying to the January 6th Committee. Even if he refuses, the committee already knows about everything that transpired between Pence and Trump that day, thanks to Pence’s subordinates.

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