Weeks before the joint congressional session to certify the Electoral College results of the 2020 presidential election, President Donald Trump was publicly and privately urging his vice president, Mike Pence, to object to the certification. Pence ignored Trump’s wishes and certified the results Wednesday after riots shook the Capitol. Since then, Trump had not spoken to Pence – until Monday night when the two met briefly in the Oval Office at Trump’s request. 

Pence announce on Tuesday night that he would not agree to the House of Representative’s demand that he invoke the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to remove Trump.

Lawyers representing Pence in Trump-led court cases before the certification said that Pence did not believe the vice president had the authority to overthrow election results on his own, which is what Trump and allies hoped he would do.

Trump’s speech before the Capitol riots, as well as several tweets made before Wednesday, led his supporters to believe that if Pence allowed the certification of the Electoral College, then he was a “traitor.” 

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Rioters inside the Capitol building Wednesday were chanting “hang Mike Pence” as they pushed against Capitol police. Several reports from inside the Capitol echo the message that many Trump loyalists now see Pence as a traitor and hope to see him executed.

The rift between Pence and Trump has been widening as rumors circulate that Pence will attend next week’s inauguration while Trump will not.

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