A video of pro-Trump insurrectionists, who laid siege to the US Capitol on Wednesday demanding the 'execution' of Vice President Mike Pence has gone viral on social media. "Hang Mike Pence" shouts are being heard in the video as Trump supporters gathered outside the US government building.
The violent protest started soon after Vice President Mike Pence told the lawmakers that he will not block the congressional certification of Joe Biden's victory. Quashing hopes of Trump and his supporters, Pence had said at the beginning of the joint session that he did not believe he has the "unilateral authority" to decide which electoral votes should be counted. Pence and several other lawmakers were evacuated by the security personnel soon after the mob broke into the security barrier at the Capitol.
Rioters Wanted to Find Mike Pence
In a tweet posted on Friday, a Reuters photographer, Jim Bourg, tweeted that he heard three rioters demanding Pence's execution after finding him. "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," Bourg wrote.
Prior to the joint session Trump had tweeted about Pence being a game changer to overturn the lost elections in his favor. "States want to correct their votes, which they now know were based on irregularities and fraud, plus corrupt process never received legislative approval. All Mike Pence has to do is send them back to the States, AND WE WIN. Do it Mike, this is a time for extreme courage!" Trump had tweeted.
"If Vice President @Mike_Pence comes through for us, we will win the Presidency," Trump added. "Many States want to decertify the mistake they made in certifying incorrect & even fraudulent numbers in a process NOT approved by their State Legislatures (which it must be). Mike can send it back!"
Irked over Pence's remarks, Trump later slammed him on Twitter saying that he did not have courage to do what should have been done to protect their country and constitution.
Trump Told Pence 'I Don't Want to Be You Friend'
Hinting at the cracks developing between Trump and Pence, Business Insider reported that after Pence refused to block Congress' certification of Biden's victory, Trump told him, "I don't want to be your friend."
Moments before the Congress geared up to certify the results of the election, Pence released a statement clarifying that he has no legal or constitutional authority to overturn the elections results. "Given the controversy surrounding this year's election, some approach this year's quadrennial tradition with great expectation, and others with dismissive disdain, read the statement.
"Some believe that as Vice President, I should be able to accept or reject electoral votes unilaterally. Others believe that electoral votes should never be challenged in a Joint Session of Congress. After a careful study of our Constitution, our laws, and our history, I believe neither view is correct," Pence said.
Speaking to CBS 17, a Trump supporter admitted that the rioters in D.C. turned violent after Pence refused to favor Trump in overturning election loss. "People got news on their phone that Mike Pence said he is not going to object to these seven states, and he was going to accept the electoral college that promotes [President-elect Joe] Biden," she explained. "That is when everybody got really upset and that's when they started storming."