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Holding Trump Accountable: The Aftermath of the Capitol Riot Under Vice President Pence

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Former US Vice President Mike Pence said on Saturday that “History will hold Donald Trump accountable” for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol, one of the strongest rebukes he has yet delivered to his former boss.

Pence was at the Capitol when thousands of Trump supporters stormed the building in an effort to stop Congress from certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election, which Trump lost to President Joe Biden.

Since the vice president has the constitutional role of president of the Senate, Pence would preside over what has always been the ceremonial task of approving Electoral College votes to choose the president and vice president.

During the siege, Trump sent several tweets, one calling on Republicans to “fight back” and others making false claims of voter fraud. He also criticized Pence for approving the results.

“President Trump was wrong,” Pence told the assembled reporters and their guests at the Gridiron Dinner, an annual white-tie event in Washington, D.C.

“I had no right to overturn the election and his reckless words endangered my family and everyone in D.C. that day, knowing that history will judge Donald Trump.”

Pence, who is considering running for the Republican nomination for the 2024 presidential election, was taken to safety by law enforcement during the attack.

He rarely spoke on January 6th in the months after the incident, but he increased his criticism of the rioters and his former boss’s behavior that day.

He has been highly critical of Trump’s behavior in recent media interviews, and in his memoirs released in November, he accused Trump of endangering his family.

Still, Pence’s comments on Saturday were among his most specific yet.

“It was a disgrace that it happened this way,” he said. “It is an irony of decency to portray it any other way. As long as I am alive, I will never diminish the injuries sustained, the lives lost, or the heroism of law enforcement on that tragic day.”

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