A Reuters' photographer covering the mayhem that engulfed the US Capitol on 6 January claims he heard the protesters that breached the building mention ‘hanging’ Vice President Mike Pence from a tree as a 'traitor'.
I heard at least 3 different rioters at the Capitol say that they hoped to find Vice President Mike Pence and execute him by hanging him from a Capitol Hill tree as a traitor. It was a common line being repeated. Many more were just talking about how the VP should be executed. https://t.co/fxHREouEWF— Jim Bourg (@jimbourg) January 8, 2021
Jim Bourg, a Reuters News Pictures Editor in DC, had tweeted to reveal he had heard several rioters at the Capitol mention they "hoped to find Vice President Mike Pence and execute him by hanging him from a Capitol Hill tree as a traitor".
Pictures posted from the scene of the violence show a noose dangling from a wooden frame on the West Front of the Capitol, where Mike Pence was presiding over a joint session of Congress that convened to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s win.
A noose. In 2021.— Aaron Thomas (@WRALAaron) January 6, 2021
I’m SICK to my stomach.
📸 : Getty Images (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds) pic.twitter.com/ptz07bXVFM
Pence and his family could reportedly hear the ‘insurrectors’ shouting 'where's Mike Pence' as the stormed their way into the building, a source close to the vice president was cited as saying by CNN.
The vice president had been joined by his wife Karen Pence, daughter Charlotte and brother, Rep. Greg Pence, R-Indiana, for the ceremonial certification of the Electoral College vote tally.
Plastic handcuffs, noose. What was the plan? Is our law enforcement in on this? How could everyone been blindsided? The intel was there. pic.twitter.com/Sa84i3X845— MizpahMoon 🌟🍑🌟🍑🌟 (@EkbMary) January 7, 2021
After the mob had forced its way into the building, Pence and other lawmakers had to be evacuated.
Footage posted online shows the rioters entering the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, breaking down a sign above her door, and sitting in the chair on the Congress floor where Mike Pence had sat moments before.
It is unclear what the people referred to by the photographer intended to do if they had found the lawmakers.
Trump Slams Pence's ‘Lack of Courage’
On the eve of the chaos that engulfed the Capitol on Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence was accused by Donald Trump of lacking “courage” for his refusal to intervene to prevent Congress from certifying the results for the presidential election that the president had repeatedly claimed was ‘rigged’ against him.
“Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!” tweeted the president, in a post that has since been removed.
Calls to Oust Trump
In the wake of the latest events, a growing cohort of legislators, including at least one Republican, have expressed support for stripping Trump of his powers under the 25th Amendment or impeaching him.
NEWS —> McConnell sends memo to GOP senators outlining how an impeachment trial would work if the House goes thru. In essence, McConnell explains how an impeachment trial would consume the first days of Biden’s presidency. Memo exclusively obtained by WaPo https://t.co/q2f2Quum1Z pic.twitter.com/SAkVVsqPvb— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) January 9, 2021
Donald Trump has been under fire from a rising chorus of critics, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, decrying his perceived role in ostensibly ‘inciting’ the Capitol violence.
On 7 January, Vice President Mike Pence was urged by Democrats to invoke the 25th Amendment, which would oust Trump from office before the inauguration of Joe Biden on 20 January.
However, Pence reportedly said he won't support the call.