Did Paul Gosar Take Actions on Behalf of Donald Trump that Contributed to Ashli Babbitt’s Death?

In this post, I noted that just nine minutes before accused January 6 defendant Brady Knowlton entered the Capitol at 2:35, Donald Trump called Tommy Tuberville. Later in the day, Rudy Giuliani would ask Tuberville to delay the vote certification by challenging more states. If that’s what Trump asked Tuberville to do on that first call and if Tuberville complied with Trump’s request, he and the rest of his colleagues might still have been in the Senate when Knowlton and others started to swarm in.

Instead, Tuberville told the President he had to go because the Senators were being evacuated, following shortly on the evacuation of Mike Pence just minutes before Trump called.

We only know of Trump’s call to Tuberville because Trump — and later Rudy Giuliani — dialed the wrong number, calling Mike Lee’s phone instead of Tuberville’s.

We don’t know who else Trump was calling at the time, though in recent days Jim Jordan has admitted he spoke to Trump that day, while dodging wildly about when that happened and what Trump said.

What we do know is that someone on the other side of the Capitol was doing exactly what Trump later asked Tuberville to do: Paul Gosar, who coordinated closely on all aspects of the insurrection with Trump, was raising more challenges to the vote.

That’s of particular interest because the NYT, in their superb documentary on the chronology of the day (starting at 25:40), suggests that the chain of events that led to Ashli Babbitt’s death started with Jim McGovern’s decision to get through one more person’s challenge of the vote, Gosar’s.

By 2:30 PM the Senate evacuation is well underway. But, even though a lockdown was called over 15 minutes ago, the House is still in session.

Gosar: I do not accept Arizona’s electors as certified.

Representative Jim McGovern is chairing. He told us he wanted to finish hearing objections to the election results by Paul Gosar. House staff and security gave McGovern the all-clear to continue. It’s a delay that likely cost someone their life.

Suddenly, staff are now pointing at the Chamber’s doors.

Please be advised there are masks under your seats. Please grab a mask and place it in your lap and be prepared to don your mask in the event we have a breach.

Just outside, a mob of a hundred or more is baying to get into them.

Well, we came this far, what do you say?

Drag ’em out.

Tell fucking Pelosi we’re coming for her.

These rioters pay little heed to the thin line of police.

They’re going. I would just stop.

And in moments, are pushing against doors into the House.

Stop the Steal! Stop the Steal!

On the other side, Capitol police erect a barricade and draw their guns. On the floor, lawmakers are evacuating to the rear of the chamber, where in a few minutes a rioter will be shot and killed. Part of the mob inside now peels off in that direction to find a different way in. Ashli Babbitt, an Air Force veteran and a QAnon supporter is among the first to arrive at the rear of the House.

There they are! What the fuck!

They see the lawmakers escaping. That lobby might have been clear had the House been evacuated sooner. But the rioters now become incensed. Zachary Alam, a Trump supporter punches in the glass panels with his bare fists.

Stop the Steal! Open the door. Break it down! Break it down!

Police are stretched extremely thin. Just three officers and a security officer stand guard. None are wearing riot gear and they keep their weapons holstered. When a team of heavily armed police now arrives, the three officers step aside.

Go! Let’s go! Get this thing!

This creates a crucial gap that allows rioters to smash in the glass. [A warning: what happens next is graphic.] It’s 2:44PM and behind the door a police officer draws his handgun.

There’s a gun. There’s a gun! He’s got a gun! He’s got a gun!

Babbitt vaults into the window. And the officer shoots her once. It’s a fatal wound, through the upper chest.

Gosar’s challenge delayed the evacuation of the House, meaning that rioters spied the lawmakers evacuating through the Speaker’s lobby as they arrived. NYT suggests that viewing the lawmakers in such close proximity inflamed the rioters, leading Zach Alam to punch through the door and Babbitt to leap through it in an attempt to chase after them, in turn leading to an officer’s decision to use lethal force to protect fleeing Members of Congress.

One minute after Babbitt was shot, surveillance footage caught Knowlton entering the Senate Chamber at 2:45. Had Trump convinced Tuberville to stay, the same kind of confrontation might have happened in the Senate Chamber, too (and video shows that Mitt Romney, already a target for Trump’s supporters, narrowly avoided running into the mob as well).

If a Tuberville delay might have orchestrated a similar clash on the Senate side, it raises questions whether Trump was involved in the Gosar delay.

As it happens, Gosar is among the most active purveyors of the martyr myth surrounding Ashli Babbitt, including tweeting out this image that seemes almost necrophiliac in composition, with its focus on his crotch and her name.

But the fact that Trump was actively calling Members of Congress well after rioters stormed the building, and the fact that Gosar caused what the NYT deemed the fatal delay on the House side, it’s possible that he and Trump had a bigger role in ensuring that Babbitt jumped through that window to chase Gosar and his colleagues. It’s possible Gosar created that delay because Trump asked him to.

CNN reports that the January 6 commission is weighing whether to obtain White House call logs (Trump made the call to Tuberville from the main White House line).

The select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection is weighing whether to pursue call logs from the Trump White House on the day of the riot, a move that could present a potentially thorny dilemma for President Joe Biden who would ultimately have to determine whether the records should be covered by executive privilege or qualify as essential evidence for the ongoing probe.

The committee has been engaged in ongoing discussions with the Biden administration about its plans for the investigation as it has taken the lead role in examining all things related to January 6 and prepares to issue its first round of subpoenas, two sources familiar with the matter told CNN.
Phone records from former President Donald Trump’s White House will likely not be among the first subpoena targets as a source familiar with the matter told CNN that the committee has not broached the topic during preliminary discussions with the Executive Branch. But the panel is actively considering the possibility of pursuing those records and other relevant documents that could raise additional executive privilege questions, the source added.
Members of the committee, including GOP Rep. Liz Cheney, have made clear investigators must “get to every piece of information that matters” in order to piece together a detailed understanding of what Trump and his closest allies were doing that day.

Liz Cheney may well be thinking of tracking Trump’s calls to Kevin McCarthy. But the import of Gosar’s delay to the shooting of Ashli Babbitt by itself presents a good reason to subpoena those records.

77 replies
  1. yogarhythms says:

    AZ may have had an out sized role? Emptywheel is on roll with AZ rep and AB and TFG. Playing telephone with peoples lives. Can we teach an old dog to roll over?

      • Charles R. Conway says:

        Gosar: For an AZ political leader, he’s a good dentist. Why do we need rich white dentists?
        I’m afraid that even with Chaney and other Rs, that the congressional investigation will never gain traction, no matter how air-tight and persuasive. We need prosecutions.

  2. klynn says:

    The video of Gosar speaking about his challenge of the vote is uncomfortable to watch. Just seems extremely odd in delivery. Analysis of his speaking behavior would be interesting. IANAL and wonder if such behavioral analysis of his speech is even worth getting to aid the investigation? Especially, considering the timeline EW notes in this insightful post.

    • OmAli says:

      Does he have some sort of neurological disorder? The way his head slowly weaves and bobs around reminds me of a snake. I keep expecting it to rotate 360 degrees…

      • P J Evans says:

        There’s been a lot of speculation about that recently, as it appears in all the videos of him speaking. (Elseweb I described it as looking like a marionette whose handler is paying attention to something else entirely.)

          • Amers says:

            I am definitely not an SLP and I am repulsed by Gosar’s politics, but I do not think I would make much of his body movements beyond it being a physical disability. I have served as an attendant to people with different speech patterns etc and know that a deviation from what people may consider normal movement does not necessarily mean there is heightened emotion there.

      • Lady4Real says:

        I noticed the head bobbing as well and just find his body language to be distracting. Must be a neurological cause for his affect.

      • Leoghann says:

        Nearly all of Rep. Gosar’s family and a fair number of his friends have commented publicly about his sudden adoption of ideas, beliefs, and behavior that are out of character for the man they knew for years. His siblings have said he has gone against the values he was raised with. It would be interesting to track his change in behavior in relation to his change in affect.

        • Angela says:

          So much material to be analyzed by mental health professionals for years to come (never mind Qanon)! What seemingly suddenly radicalized Gosar? The same thing happened with Linwood.

          I listened to a podcast about Linwood’s personal history. He once was a highly regarded litigator but somewhere along the way, during Trump’s reign he completely lost it. His good friend, who’s also a lawyer & Linwood got in an argument & Linwood pulled his gun on him.
          Friend called the police so he could safely leave but it was a turning point for Linwood.
          He too is now radicalized & his esteemed, & lucrative legal business is in the toilet, he owes half a million dollars to his partner, & he is under criminal investigation. I hadn’t thought about it until now but Linwood & Gosar are very much alike.

        • klynn says:

          As our family watched his speaking live, my youngest, who was smack in the middle of a WWII AP history lesson, turned to watch Gosar and asked in genuine horror, “Is he trying to copy Hitler’s speech delivery?” Then held his phone up to the tv by Gosar’s face and played a clip of Hitler speaking. It was chilling, and the reason I posted my original comment.

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        I’ve noticed Gosar’s weird writhing too. As a person with a neuro disorder (I have Parkinson’s), I took particular interest; it looked a bit like the tardive dyskinesia that can afflict PD patients after years on certain medications. But then I noticed that Gosar’s writhing seems to vanish when he’s not delivering scripted talking points. At rallies where he’s speaking (screaming) extemporaneously, his delivery looks normal.

        I had not thought of the Hitler comparison. Hitler was so loaded up with drugs that he too might have had serpentine side effects. His body became like a torture chamber for him. Unfortunately, he proved neither the first nor the last to take out his pain and rage on other people–just (so far) the one who amassed the most power.

        • Leoghann says:

          Since you brought it up, tardive dyskinesia is exactly what it looks like. It’s been nearly thirty years since I worked with people with schizophrenia-related disorders, and I didn’t even think of it. I’m in his district, so I’ve seen him at (a very few) meetings. In person, he has a neat sardonic sense of humor, but otherwise is just as crazy as the media makes him look. And by crazy, I mean everyone is a danger but him in his universe.

  3. WilliamOckham says:

    I keep going back to that Jim Acosta tweet (five minutes before the Trump/Tuberville call):
    “A source close to the White House who is in touch with some of the rioters at the Capitol said it’s the goal of those involved to stay inside the Capitol through the night.”

    If someone at the Capitol was in touch with someone “close to the White House”, it’s highly likely there is a record of that happening. Not the content necessarily, but the connection.

      • WilliamOckham says:

        I mean that the Feds have (or have access to) the phone records of everyone inside the Capitol perimeter at the time. They know the phone numbers in use by almost everyone who could plausibly be “close to the White House”. It’s seems like they’ve had enough time to search through all the external numbers that people inside the Capitol contacted looking for phone numbers associated with, oh say, Roger Stone, just to pick someone at random.

        • emptywheel says:

          Oh, sorry I misread your original comment.

          I agree–they should and I believe do know who these comms involved.

          • blueedredcounty says:

            Executive privilege wouldn’t apply to the phone records on the receiving end.
            It would not surprise me to know they already have them.

            In line with investigating a major crime scene, every cell phone communication (call/text/post/etc.) within the Capitol that day needs to be reviewed, regardless of to whom the device belonged. And I expect it is happening, and it takes time. It’s OK, I’m patient.

            • Rayne says:

              I’m wondering if executive privilege applies at all considering this was a post-campaign non-governance activity outside the scope of the executive and the context of the calls has already been published establishing their further disclosure is no threat to national security or an encroachment on the executive office’s privacy in communications. We’ve been through this with United States v. Nixon:

              We conclude that when the ground for asserting privilege as to subpoenaed materials sought for use in a criminal trial is based only on the generalized interest in confidentiality, it cannot prevail over the fundamental demands of due process of law in the fair administration of criminal justice. The generalized assertion of privilege must yield to the demonstrated, specific need for evidence in a pending criminal trial.

              per Justice Warren Burger. While not a criminal trial yet, the records are necessary to validate a criminal referral as well as Congressional oversight of its own functions.

              • Rugger9 says:

                It really does not (crime/fraud) but it will doubtless be claimed and will have to be litigated.

                Nonetheless, force them to explain themselves in court.

    • dadidoc1 says:

      If Jim Acosta got permission from his source, could he share that with the FBI or the January 6th Commission investigators? Even if he didn’t share the source, could he drop some clues?

  4. Jharp says:

    “the January 6 commission is weighing whether to obtain White House call logs”

    Excuse me? What am I missing?

    How in the world can they not obtain the White House call logs?

  5. The Old Redneck says:

    You can sidestep the Executive privilege implications by sending the subpoena to Gosar and/or his cell phone provider. That way, no decision has to be made – at least at at this point – about the President giving up WH call records.
    You can revisit WH records later depending on where the evidence takes you. But first, it makes sense to do things which don’t implicate Executive privilege.

    • A Better Mitch says:

      My 1st reaction to your comment was Yes, yes, yes. 2nd thought was why not pursue both tracks at once- subpoena Gosar, his provider, and White House all simultaneously. I expect a more knowledgeable commenter will explain that it’s a waste of time and resources to go after potential privilege issues if not absolutely necessary, or perhaps politically unwise to put Biden admin. in that position, esp. having seen weak response on E Jean Carroll. I look forward to being further educated.

      • The Old Redneck says:

        Well, you already said it. Courts are usually going to require you to try and do things the easy way first. They’d rather avoid having to decide a hot-potato executive privilege claim.
        There is no court proceeding over this now, but it’s virtually certain there will be when investigators start getting close to some information that matters.

        • bmaz says:

          This is not correct. Courts process what you put in front of them initially, and act and decide therefrom. The investigators are already close to critical information, it is simply a matter of whether the Dem Committees have the balls to try to enforce accessing it.

          • Rugger9 says:

            Precisely this point, and Gosar for his part has not backed down in the least in his fealty for DJT, nor in his accusations and conduct. Again, these MAGA cultist are daring the Ds to do something about this. IIRC, Bennie Thompson’s next hearing is in a week or so, and we may find out more.

            My witness list for Congresscritters (first wave):
            Boebert (who just defended her tour as legit when she wasn’t seated yet), Brooks, Gosar, Jordan, McCarthy, MTG, Biggs, Sen. Lee, Sen Tuberville. I think there is enough to ask pointed questions that will make them squirm as well as get them on record under oath for future prosecution for lying to Congress.

            I would subpoena all of the WH staff (all of them, to dig out inconsistencies like the Thin Man did) just to get them on record under oath. Only then does DJT get his invite, because by then I would expect that he’d be forced to choose who he will try to protect.

            How involved are QAnon and the Russians in this? This looked a lot like the nonsense surrounding the anti-vax and so-called stop the steal narratives. Other non-official actors: Flynn, Sidney, Jenna, Roger for starters.

            • P J Evans says:

              Ivanka apparently invited Eduardo Bolsonaro and his wife (and very young daughter) to the WH around 1/4. (Yes, he’s the son of Jair B.) He’s pushing the rigged-election line in/for Brazil. Might be worth asking some questions about that, also.

              • Rugger9 says:

                Since it appears this was also months in the planning, the former GSA administrator also needs to talk under oath since her refusal to permit the transition gave DJT space to pull this off.

                While we’re at it, why not the PBs FBI informant Tarrio? Also, Erik Prince needs to be checked out since it doesn’t seem likely he’d be uninterested in supporting the coup attempt so he could come home again.

              • Ginevra diBenci says:

                Mike Lindell would like to seek common cause with the Bolsonaros, but alas he cannot say their name. (Seems he tried on Steve Bannon’s radio show; Bannon did it for him.) I realize that mispronouncing “foreign” names (like Kamala) is a point of pride for some on the right, but they may want to practice if they want to keep their new bedfellows.

      • Savage Librarian says:

        “esp. having seen weak response on E Jean Carroll”

        Since you (A Better Mitch) made that comment (and many of us are still wondering what happened there,) I thought I would share the article cited below. It made me wonder if Merrick Garland and/or Lisa Monaco had some prior insight into the Letitia James report that mentioned a Kaplan and Cuomo connection. I wonder if this had any influence on the DOJ decision about E. Jean Carroll.

        “Time’s Up board co-chair steps down in wake of Cuomo scandal” – By Chloe Melas and Karl de Vries, CNN, August 09, 2021


  6. pdaly says:

    Gosar’s slimy ‘blame the Capitol Police for murder’ aside, I’m a little confused by the timeline.
    Supposedly the House gaveled out at 2:20pm.
    Babbitt was shot around 2:44 pm, and Representatives were still evacuating the chamber/lingering in the hallway.

    I would assume evacuation would not take more than 15 minutes, so the fact that some Representatives were visible to Babbitt et. al. 20 minutes after the House session was stopped, seems to indicate the House was advised to shelter in place for at least that amount of time before deciding to evacuate instead.

  7. Yohei72 says:

    This has no resemblance to a useful comment – it’s just venting. But even with all the right wing hypocrisy I’ve processed over the decades, my mind still boggles at the party of “Wanna not get shot, then comply with the police” howling in outrage (real or faux) over a “protester” getting shot down by a cop while smashing through the doors to the congressional chambers. It makes my head hurt.

      • Yohei72 says:

        With the major exception of leftist protesters and similar types. They were downright gleeful about the white people Kyle Rittenhouse killed (not a cop shooting, I know, but I think the point stands).

        • Rugger9 says:

          No, it doesn’t. Try again, troll, and hopefully you were paid up front. DJT has a habit of stiffing the help.

          • P J Evans says:

            I don’t *think* that was trolling. It’s a good point. The former guy’s followers would like for the cops to only shoot “those people”.

            • Rugger9 says:

              I was objecting to this, which was typical blame-the-lefty Faux News crap:

              “With the major exception of leftist protesters and similar types. They were downright gleeful about the white people Kyle Rittenhouse killed…”

              Show me ONE lefty that cheered the deaths of two of their own. On the RWNJ side, there were plenty.

              • Yohei72 says:

                “They” = Trumpist cop-and-gun fetishists. Not entirely clear from my phrasing in the comment as typed, but ought to have been clear enough in conjuction with my original comment above that. Li’l twitchy with the trigger finger there today, Rugger9.

                  • Yohei72 says:

                    No worries, thanks for correcting. I’ve done similarly in other discussion venues. We’re all a bit twitchy after five or so years of constant political trauma.

  8. John Paul Jones says:

    EW, thanks for linking to the NYT documentary. It was absolutely riveting. (Often the paywall defeats me, but I find that your links usually go through without a problem.) What I really loved about it was the focus on the heroism and quick-thinking of Officer Goodman – and what a name! – who led a bunch of sheep away from their intended targets and to a line of his fellow officers so they could deal with them. I loved the way the documentary analysed and highlighted his movements so you could see him thinking in real time about the best way to deal with these idiots. Just amazing footage.

    Also of note: the way the documentary identifies and highlights various Oath-Keepers and Proud Boys (proud of what, one wonders?), essentially making nonsense of some of the claims they’ve made in court. And a brief focus on Roseanne Boyland was also welcome, as she seems to have become a forgotten victim.

      • Raven Eye says:

        If you are active duty military AND and Oath Keeper, there is an instant conflict. Essentially, the Oath Keeper’s oath allows their members to take an ala carte approach to the oath they took when enlisting or taking an officer’s appointment.

        It raises the potential for significant damage to “good order and discipline” by allowing individual service members to decide if anything they are doing or are ordered to do conflicts with the OK “Ten Orders We Will Not Obey”. Oath Keepers can ignore their superiors and disregard the legal advice and directives that may be in effect.

        It’s one of the things about Oath Keepers in particular that really ticks me off.

        • Rugger9 says:

          Indeed, it one of the many convenient justifications for what the OKs do.

          OT: I see that some of our rioters have been picked up for strangling relatives and other violations of pretrial release terms. Time to toss them back in because of “demonstrated unreliability”.

    • Angela says:

      Just so you know, The NY Times made that documentary free to everyone and they also put it on YouTube which I thought was a cool thing to do.

  9. obsessed says:

    A truly riveting post and comments. Thanks to all.

    I started following this stuff when I was a draft age lefty during Watergate. In the end, Nixon resigned in disgrace and a ton of people went to jail. Since then, from Iran Contra to the meltdown, Plame, Bridgegate and so many more, there hasn’t been another satisfying ending. And even Nixon got pardoned. I see the Lucy & the Football process churning away on a dozen fronts now and especially with Garland in charge I remain extremely cynical. My faith in all things DOJ has never been lower. Still, reading this post a third time, I can’t help but hope that there’s still hope for a truly tide-turning inflection point. It’s hypothetically possible. What if they actually had hanged Mike Pence, or murdered lawmakers? Please tell me that would have been enough to produce Pearl Harbor/911-level universal outrage and action? There’s got to be a point where the whole GOP/Fox News house of cards collapses in on itself, right? I remember at the beginning of the Mueller era, having an argument with my girlfriend’s 30-year old sons, who said, based on their life experience, that they were 100% certain that Trump and everyone else would walk. I told them they’d just become too cynical – that this time would be different. How many Trump-ending scandals was that ago? Sigh. It’s interesting, but it’s like being an SF Giants fan between 1955 and 2009. At a certain point, you lose hope.

    • Tim Weston says:

      I totally agree with your comment. I’m also feeling a “Watergate” clarity coming in to play today. It’s playing havoc with my cynicism.

    • blueedredcounty says:

      “It’s interesting, but it’s like being an SF Giants fan between 1955 and 2009. At a certain point, you lose hope.”

      That just means you need to be think baseball, and the generations of Cubs fans who waited 108 years.

      (Although I did read multiple newpaper columns, blog posts, etc., from lifelong Cubs fans, who had it passed on from parents and great-grandparents, who likened it to child abuse. So they were refusing to pass it along to their own kids.)

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        Lifelong Cubs fan here, descended from two generations of men who worked for the organization. I was so happy both my parents lived long enough to see that night in 2016 . . . until it hit me: we were gonna have to pay for it. Cubs fans, remember?

        And it didn’t even take a week. The election, then my mom’s last awful year, then last year our father died of Covid–the ultimate Trump devastation. He never had a chance to vote for Biden.

        Hope is the thing with feathers, Emily Dickinson wrote. As long as feathered things adorn the skies, hope is out there. Our difficult task: to reach for it and hang on to it if we can. Even Cubs fans.

    • P J Evans says:

      As a Giants fan, it was fine up until 1970 or so. You don’t lose hope, you say “Wait ’til next year”. And then hope they don’t collapse in June again.

      • Rugger9 says:

        Which they did not do this year. This team has grit as shown by gut punching the Dodgers twice after getting gut punched in their last series. Bochy’s teams in 2010, 2012 and 2014 had the same quality.

        I’m enjoying this while I can.

  10. d4v1d says:

    While coming down Gosar, it is important to note he had an enabler – Jim McGovern, an unwitting accomplice who should have gaveled the House into recess.

    • Rugger9 says:

      Gosar certainly knew (and can be confirmed from the telecon record) that there wasn’t enough time, and McGovern would not have been aware of how little time there was. As it is, I would not be surprised to find out that the certification ballots were the target as well as any D member the rioters could find, since (in their mind, because certified copies did exist) they’d pull an AZ audit and spoil them all to be able to “edit” them later. Sharpies were optional for that task.

      The knowledge of whether Gosar’s timing was intended to place all of this at risk is a key point and if we’re correct here should put Gosar in prison after a fair trial [i.e. conspiracy to commit a crime].

      The other useful question would be how long McGovern would call for a recess (i.e. next day, next hour?) because if the whole idea was to buy DJT more time for his coup, IMHO next day would have been too long. I’m pretty sure the instructions from the Speaker were to keep the House in session until the counts were done and objections cleared.

  11. Tom says:

    With American democracy so near a tipping point, there shouldn’t be any question about the need to examine the White House phone logs for the days surrounding the Insurrection. The January 6th Committee should recall what Lincoln wrote in his December 1, 1862 Message to Congress: “As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves [in the present case, of any ideas that Trump was just another President] and then we will save our country.”

    It’s obvious that on January 6th Trump had nothing at all in mind like a peaceful protest at the Capitol. He also wanted far more than just to disrupt and delay the Electoral College certification vote. He wanted the men and women of Congress staked out as sitting ducks for his howling mob and he made phone calls to his Republican supporters (“Dial M for Murder”) to try and ensure the rioters’ quarry did not get away. Trump was literally out for blood and the bodies of resulting victims could be laid at the door of Antifa, BLM, Socialists, or anyone else Trump and his gang cared to name. In the meantime, Trump would have the grounds he thought he needed to invoke any extraordinary Executive measures to remain in power.

    I’d like to know more about what was going through Mike Pence’s mind that day when he rejected the instructions of the head of his Secret Service detail, Tim Giebels, to leave the Capitol in a special limousine. According to Phil Rucker and Carol Leonning’s recent book, Pence said, “I trust you, Tim, but you’re not driving the car. If I get in that vehicle, you guys are taking off. I’m not getting in the car.” Pence also explained that he did not want the world to see the U.S. government driven out of the Capitol building by an armed mob.

    And yet Chuck Schumer, Kevin McCarthy, Nancy Pelosi, and other top Democrats and Republicans were evacuated to Fort McNair in Washington temporarily and later returned to the Capitol to complete the vote that same evening. Pence apparently felt able to assert his authority to reject Giebels’ recommendation to leave the Capitol, but I wonder if was he worried that he couldn’t trust the rest of his security team and wouldn’t be allowed to return for the vote once he was taken away because someone other than the trusted Giebels would be driving the car. Was Pence concerned that his Secret Service detail, acting out of excessive zeal to protect him, would refuse to return him to the Capitol? Or, knowing that Trump was angry with him, was the VP worried that there might be a plan to hold him incommunicado in some unknown location until such time as Trump had completed his coup? Did Pence feel safer in the Capitol building with a “Hang Mike Pence!” mob on the loose than he would have being alone in the hands of his possibly Trump-subverted Secret Service detail? Perhaps those are the very points Rucker & Leonning were trying to make and I wasn’t subtle enough to pick up on it.

    • Rugger9 says:

      That is an interesting point, and suggests that Pence was somehow alerted to this possibility. It’s clear that Pence was intent on getting the certification done, regardless of what DJT thought and I think he was quite correct in his view that his absence would have stopped the proceedings (at least until the Pro Tem took over, but that would be another GQP senator).

      Whether Pence considered that his life was more in danger with a car ride could be debated, IMHO the more important effect of Pence’s departure from the Capitol was to stop the process by any means necessary. That would buy more time for DJT’s coup.

      As many commenters have noted on the ‘net, DJT and his minions must be held accountable for these crimes or the “line” will be moved again for stepping over.

  12. Krisy Gosney says:

    Loving this level of reporting and comments, thank you. It’s been reported and it’s been shown that part of Trump’s POV and ‘fact’ base is from tv and movies. He believes what he’s seen in spy and war movies and movies about our government. He really must have been high on seeing himself as the Harrison Ford or Liam Neeson of the insurrection. And these congressmen, the R congressmen, like Gosar thinking they are the supporting actors of the insurrection. Like the insurrection would be the climax of the insurrection movie, not thinking about this being real life with real people being hurt and real consequences.

    • Tom says:

      Nah, given his white supremacist views Gosar probably fantasizes about being Dr. Szell, the former concentration camp dentist played by Sir Laurence Olivier in the 1975 film “Marathon Man”.

      • Krisy Gosney says:

        ‘Marathon Man’ is a movie also. The point that this group fantasizes about being characters (heroes in their minds) in a movie rather than having their heads in real life with its real life consequences is still applicable no matter what movie character they think they are playing.

    • P J Evans says:

      Yeah, that’s a nice list of the main GQP in the house. Not all of them, but the ones who are most problematic.

Comments are closed.