Special counsel Jack Smith cited “contemporaneous notes” taken by former Vice President Mike Pence during the contentious 2020 election in the Tuesday indictment of former Donald Trump.
The Department of Justice charged Trump with conspiracy to defraud the United States, witness tampering, conspiracy against the rights of citizens, and obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding.
The department released a 45-page indictment that alleges Trump and other “conspirators” tried to subvert the democratic process and use illegitimate slates of electors in contested states to overturn the election.
Trump is referred to in the document as “defendant.”
Pence proved a key figure in the indictment and his note-taking was used to frame the former president as a man unwilling to relinquish power.
The indictment claims Trump was told by advisers he had lost the election but ignored them and pursued Pence, who he pressured to refuse to certify the election on Jan. 6, 2021.
The DOJ argued a plan to use so-called alternate slates of electors from battleground states, which it referred to as “fraudulent,” was rebuffed by Pence numerous times.
Pence documented his changes with Trump after the election, the DOJ claimed.
On page 33 of the indictment, four separate conversations between the two were cited that took place from Dec. 5, 2020, to Jan. 3, 2021.
The indictment states:
“On December 25, when the Vice President called the Defendant to wish him a Merry Christmas, the Defendant quickly turned the conversation to January 6 and his request that the Vice President reject electoral votes that day.
“The Vice President pushed back, telling the Defendant, as the Vice President already had in previous conversations, ‘You know I don’t think I have the authority to change the outcome.’”
The document adds, “On December 29, as reflected in the Vice President’s contemporaneous notes, the Defendant falsely told the Vice President that the ‘Justice Dept [was] finding major infractions.’”
In a New Year’s Day conversation cited in the document, Trump allegedly “berated” Pence and called him “too honest” for refusing to certify votes from states that Trump and his legal team argued were fraudulent.
The indictment also alleges the following in a fourth conversation two days later:
“On January 3, the Defendant again told the Vice President that at the certification proceeding, the Vice President had the absolute right to reject electoral votes and the ability to overturn the election.
“The Vice President responded that he had no such authority, and that a federal appeals court had rejected the lawsuit making that claim the previous day.”
Pence alleged in one conversation that Trump told him, “Hundreds of thousands are gonna hate your guts.”
The indictment ultimately mentions Pence either by name or as the “vice president” more than 100 times.
Pence attacked Trump on Twitter following the indictment in a thread in which he alleged the former president tried to put “himself over the Constitution.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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