Revelations that Donald Trump was told that Mike Pence had been whisked from the Senate floor just minutes before the former president decided to tweet an attack on his own vice president has added to the already staggering body of evidence that any stated concerns Trump had about the violent mob which stormed the Capitol Building on January 6 came secondary to his private approval of and participation in what transpired that day.
The new evidence for a damning timeline came from Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) who on Wednesday night told reporters that he personally talked to Trump just after Pence and his aides were ushered away by the Secret Service.
"He didn't get a chance to say a whole lot because I said, "Mr. President, they just took the vice president out. I've got to go,'" Tuberville said in response to a question about the nature of the call.
Citing video footage from January 6—details of which were presented during Day 2 of the Senate impeachment trial on Wednesday—the HuffPost reports that "Pence was removed from the Senate at 2:14 p.m. after rioters had broken into the Capitol, meaning that when Trump lashed out at Pence at 2:24 p.m., he already knew Pence's life was in danger."
"Mike Pence didn't have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution," Trump said in his 2:24 pm tweet.
As the House impeachment managers showed in dramatic footage Wednesday, Pence was escorted to safety just moments before the mob overtook large portions of the building. And as lawmakers throughout the building sought safety, a makeshift gallows had been erected outside the Capitol while those inside were heard chanting "Hang Mike Pence!" and "Where are they?" in an apparent reference to others they sought to harm.
Reporting by The Hill notes that it "had previously been known that Tuberville and Trump spoke, though the details of the conversation are new. The fact that the Alabama senator told the president that Pence was in danger is a potentially useful nugget for the Democrats' impeachment managers, who are trying to convince Senate Republicans that Trump egged on the mob and then did nothing to quell the violence once it erupted."
According to Politico:
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.
Aides to the former president did not immediately return a request for comment.
In reaction to the new revelations, The Intercept's Washington bureau chief Ryan Grim tweeted: "Looks like Trump wasn't playing around, really did want something to happen to Pence."
And as Benjy Sarlin, policy editor for NBC News commented, "When the jurors are also witnesses, strange things happen."