It’s a tale as old as time: A foul-mouthed reality star taps you to be his veep because of your known credentials as an evangelist killjoy. You team up, take the White House by storm, and he lets you do your thing—that is, targeting and dehumanizing queer people and women. It’s all going very smoothly until the two of you lose the 2020 election together, he asks you to overturn the outcome of said election—which you don’t even have the power to do—and then he basically tells his supporters to murder you!
Such is the ballad of Mike Pence and Donald Trump, the ex-dynamic duo who are now running against each other in the 2024 Republican primary. And just when you thought things couldn’t get juicier than Trump last year defending his supporters who called for Pence to be hanged, I give you this latest development: Pence played a key role in Trump’s latest indictment via the meticulous, “contemporaneous notes” he took as Trump tried to foment a coup, per the indictment.
As recently as last week, Pence declined to condemn Trump’s actions on Jan. 6 as criminal: “I would rather that these issues and the judgment about his conduct on January 6 be left to the American people in the upcoming primaries,” he said. But it turns out that in the background of all of his timid refusals to criticize Trump’s actions, he’d taken extensive notes and pages of evidence that have now turned up in Trump’s third indictment this year. And to top it all off, he proceeded to do a victory lap on Twitter on Tuesday night: “Today’s indictment serves as an important reminder: anyone who puts himself over the Constitution should never be President of the United States,” Pence wrote. Ope!
In an equally juicy thread, Pence promised more tea (“I will have more to say”), deftly pivoted to the existential threat that Hunter Biden poses to the republic, and then stuck the landing by making it all about himself: Pence’s final tweet begins, “As your president,” which is a bold preface from a man polling at 3% (yes, the same number of percentage points as Trump has indictments now!).
Delusional or not, as CBS News’ Robert Costa put it on Tuesday night, Pence “could end up being the most important witness in this case.” So, when, exactly, did Pence flip? Did he stream rapper Jack Harlow’s song about holding your male friends accountable? Did he have a particularly visceral nightmare about Trump supporters chanting “Hang Mike Pence!” recently? Perhaps he’ll answer these and other burning questions in the next indictment round.
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