President Donald Trump cursed Vice President Mike Pence in an angry phone call demanding that Pence overturn the results of the presidential election.
On January 6, hours before his group of loyalists stormed the U.S. Capitol, when Pence was chairing a joint congressional session, Trump called the Vice President's residence with one last, desperate plea.
"You can either go down in history as a patriot or go down in history as p *** y," warned Trump Pence during the call, two people who were informed of the conversation told the New York Times.
Pence, who had remained a calm and loyal number 2 throughout Trump's tenure, was finally at the breaking point – and likely realized that his refusal to follow Trump's illegal scheme was costing him politically with Trump's base and missing any chance of a chance would future presidential bid.
"You can either go down in history as a patriot or go down in history as p *** y," warned Trump Pence on a phone call on the morning of January 6th when Congress was due to be convened
Pence, who had remained a calm and loyal number 2 during Trump's tenure, was finally at the breaking point, dismissing Trump's plea and refusing to overturn the election
For days, Trump had been pressuring Pence to intervene in Congress and block certification of the electoral college vote that named Democrat Joe Biden as the next president.
After his spate of election lawsuits were all thrown away, somehow Trump came to believe that Pence had the power to choose the next president.
Pence's attorney, Greg Jacob, investigated the matter and concluded that the Vice President had no such authority. But Trump kept pushing the matter, and Pence sought further outside advice from John Yoo, a conservative law scholar at the University of California at Berkeley who served in the administration of George W. Bush.
On Jan. 5, Trump charged Pence in a series of encounters, including one that lasted more than an hour, sources told the Times. The attorneys present tried to convince Trump that Pence was not empowered to overturn the election.
On the morning of January 6, Pence's personal attorney called J. Michael Luttig, a Conservative former appeals court judge, and asked him to give his opinion on Pence's ability to intervene.
Luttig was quick to share his opinion that Pence had no such ability, and Pence quoted it in a public letter shortly before the joint congressional session was convened, saying he would not vote.
Trump, seen on Tuesday, had rushed Pence in a series of encounters prior to Jan. 6, asking him to intervene illegally in Congress to overthrow election results
During Trump's tenure, Pence had specialized in keeping quiet and avoiding anything that would attract the president's anger. They can be seen up last March
Pence's decision enraged the president and the crowd of Trump supporters gathered around the Capitol. As the mob stormed the building, some "Hang Mike Pence!"
Intelligence agents brought Pence out of the Senate Chamber when the mob was raging and took him first to his offices and then to a bunker in the basement.
Trump himself had urged his supporters at a rally to demand that they "fight", label the election as fraudulent, and put pressure on Pence, whose only role was the ceremony and opening and reading envelopes with votes.
Trump was taped to the TV as the storm aired on the Capitol.
When the attack unfolded and Pence huddled in the basement, Trump didn't call Pence, but instead tweeted insults from the Vice President at 2:24 p.m.
When Trump's loyalists stormed the Capitol, Pence was taken to a basement bunker. Trump, who was watching the events on television, did not call Pence but tweeted to insult him during the attack
Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are again chairing a joint congressional session to confirm the 2020 electoral college findings after the Capitol attack
After the Capitol was secured, Congress convened again and stayed after midnight to confirm the election.
Pence and Trump didn't speak the next day. But they reached a troubled truce on Monday night when an increasingly isolated Trump met with Pence to ask him not to exercise the 25th Amendment to remove him from office in his final days.
Sources told the Times that the Oval Office's hour-long meeting was "insubstantial" and "stilted".
On Tuesday, Pence sent a letter to House Spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi saying he would not invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from power as the House of Representatives cast its first votes on a resolution, in which he was asked to do so.
"I don't think such an approach is in our nation's best interests or in line with the Constitution," Pence said of the Democratic-led relocation effort.
Vice President Mike Pence released the letter he sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi when the House of Representatives first voted on the resolution pressuring him to invoke the 25th amendment
Last week, I did not give in to pressure to put pressure beyond my constitutional authority to determine the outcome of the election, and I will not give in to efforts in the House now to play political games at a time that is so serious in life is our nation. & # 39;
Experts say Pence's decision last week may have permanently cost him any future attempt to win the White House by enraging Trump's grassroots.
"Pence had a choice between his constitutional duty and his political future, and he did the right thing," Yoo told the Times.
“I think he was the man of the day in many ways – for both Democrats and Republicans. He did his duty even though he must have known then that it likely meant he could never become president. & # 39;