An aide to former Vice President Mike Pence warned a U.S. Secret Service agent of his concerns for Pence’s safety in advance of the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection last year, according to a report from The New York Times.
The Times’s Maggie Haberman reported Friday that Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, called the former vice president’s head Secret Service agent to his office the day before hundreds of rioters stormed the Capitol to try to prevent Congress from certifying then-President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election.
Short told the agent, Tim Giebels, that then-President Trump was going to publicly criticize Pence for refusing to support Trump’s effort to overturn the election, which could put Pence in harm’s way.
Short did not know what exactly the threat might be to Pence, but the increased pressure that Trump and his allies were placing on Pence to intervene gave Short concerns, the Times reported.
The vice president is constitutionally responsible for overseeing the certification of the votes of the Electoral College following a presidential election but does not have the power to reject any state’s results, according to the fact-checking website PolitiFact.
Trump has repeatedly claimed widespread instances of fraud denied him reelection in the 2020 presidential race, but there is no evidence of significant fraud that could change the outcome of any state or the election overall.
Haberman wrote that she learned of this meeting while conducting research for her upcoming book about Trump that is set to be released in October.
As rioters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, many of them chanted “Hang Mike Pence” for his refusal to try to intervene in the certification. The Times reported last week that Trump made an approving remark about the chants based on an account provided to the House Jan. 6 Committee.
Haberman wrote in the Friday article that it is unclear if Giebels acted on Short’s warning in any way.
A law enforcement official familiar with the situation told The Hill that the report was “not true,” though did not offer specifics.
A spokeswoman for Pence did not immediately return a request from The Hill for comment. Short could not be immediately reached by The Hill for comment.