Former Vice President Mike Pence did not want to be seen as fleeing the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, according to testimony provided to the House Select Committee by advisers and aides who were working for him at the time.
Pence’s whereabouts on Jan. 6 as pro-Trump rioters began to breach the Capitol has been a topic of intrigue since security footage emerged showing the former vice president being evacuated from the building by his Secret Service detail.
The committee showed on Thursday images of Pence on his phone in a secure location after being evacuated and witnesses provided new details about how he resisted Secret Service orders to get into a car.
“When we got down to the secure location, secret service directed us to get into the cars, which I did, and then I noticed that the vice president had not,” Greg Jacob, former chief counsel to Pence, testified during the hearing. “So I got out of the car that I had gotten into, and I understood the vice president had refused to get into the car.”
“The head of his Secret Service detail, Tim said, ‘I assure you we’re not going to drive out of the building with your permission.’ And the vice president had said something to the effect of, ‘Tim, I know you, I trust you, but you’re not the one behind the wheel,” Jacob said.
“And the vice president did not want to take any chance that the world would see the vice president of the United States fleeing the United States Capitol. He was determined that we would complete the work that we had set out to do that day,” he added.
Jacob also said Pence and his wife Karen reacted “with frustration” that Trump never called to check on them as a mob overran the Capitol building with Pence in their sights
Pence and Trump’s relationship soured deeply in the lead-up to the Jan. 6, 2021 congressional session, as Pence made clear that he would not comply with the scheme to overturn the election results that Trump was pushing.
Trump, in turn, began to turn on his vice president in his public remarks, stirring up his supporters’ anger.
For his part, as he worked from a secure location in the Capitol, Pence reached out to congressional leaders, the acting defense secretary, and others “to check on their safety and to address the growing crisis,” Aguilar said Thursday.
CNN’s David Shortell contributed reporting to this post.