Tommy Tuberville told Trump about Pence’s evacuation during Capitol siege before insurrectionists reached the Senate: reporter
On Wednesday, February 10, the second day of former President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial, one of the things the impeachment managers addressed was Trump's initial reaction to the assault on the U.S. Capitol Building — what Trump knew, when he knew it, and how he initially responded to it. And Politico's Kyle Cheney is reporting that Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama spoke to Trump "just as a violent mob closed in on the Senate" and "informed" him "that Vice President Mike Pence had just been evacuated from the chamber."
Tuberville, according to Cheney, spoke to Politico on February 10, telling the publication, "I said, 'Mr. President, they just took the vice president out. I've got to go.'"
Cheney explains, "The existence of the phone call had been previously reported, but the detail that Tuberville informed Trump his vice president was in danger is a new and potentially significant development for House prosecutors seeking Trump's conviction: it occurred just around the time that Trump sent a tweet attacking Pence for not having 'the courage' to unilaterally stop Joe Biden's victory. And Trump never indicated publicly that he was aware of Pence's plight, even hours after Tuberville says he told him."
The former president's impeachment trial for "incitement to insurrection" began on Tuesday, February 9. The following day, Democratic impeachment managers presented evidence showing that some of the insurrectionists were hoping to murder then-Vice President Pence — who they believed had betrayed Trump — as well as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. And the managers argued that Trump encouraged the insurrectionists' hatred of Pence.
According to Cheney, "It's long been unclear precisely when Trump learned of the danger that Congress and his vice president faced — though it was broadcast all over live television — but Tuberville's claim would mark a specific moment Trump was notified that Pence had to be evacuated for his own safety."
Tuberville says he informed Trump of Pence’s evacuation before rioters reached Senate https://t.co/nxFBBhvwJw via @politico— Donna Brazile (@Donna Brazile) 1613050578
During the impeachment trial, Cheney notes, "The Tuberville call was among their examples to show that Trump remained fixated on stopping Biden's victory even as it became clear that a mob devoted to him was ransacking the Capitol. Trump, they said, did nothing to publicly call off the rioters and instead, called Tuberville to continue his effort to stop the transition of power. The phone call itself figured into the House impeachment managers' case against Trump, detailed during Wednesday's Senate trial arguments. The managers noted that while a mob encroached on the Senate chamber, Trump was ignoring his allies' pleas for him to publicly call them off. Instead, Trump accidentally phoned Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) as he sought to get in touch with Tuberville to request that the Alabama senator continue objecting to the election results in order to buy time."
The New York Times' Maggie Haberman has reported that according to her White House sources, Trump was initially "pleased" upon learning that a mob had stormed the U.S. Capitol Building. Haberman, during a January 12 appearance on CNN's "New Day," told hosts Alisyn Camerota and John Berman, "He was well aware of it, he was watching it. He was pleased because it was people fighting on his behalf. He was pleased because he liked the scene, he was pleased because it was delaying the certification of the Electoral College vote….. He just didn't want to do anything."
Haberman went on to say, "The only thing that really seemed to snap him out of it, according to my sources…. is that he was told he would have legal exposure based on what was going on because of what he said at the rally that preceded it."
Pence, Cheney notes, "was evacuated from the chamber at about 2:15 p.m. (on January 6), and Trump sent his tweet attacking Pence at 2:24 p.m. The entire Senate was cleared by about 2:30 p.m."
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