Former Vice President Mike Pence was asked directly on Monday night, who it was that convinced him not to go along with Donald Trump's plan of refusing to certify the Presidential election results.

Vice President Pence declared Joe Biden the winner of the election at the end of a violent and deadly day at the Capitol on January 6. 

But during a question and answer session at a Young America's Foundation event at the University of Iowa, a student demanded to know what, in his mind, had caused Pence to suddenly back down and refuse to block the certification of the election. 

Former Vice President Mike Pence was asked by a student in Iowa why he didn't overturn the 2020 election on January 6 at Trump's request

Former Vice President Mike Pence was asked by a student in Iowa why he didn't overturn the 2020 election on January 6 at Trump's request

'What is the name of the person who convinced you to buck President Trump's plan and certify the votes?' a student named Jared, pictured, asked Pence

'What is the name of the person who convinced you to buck President Trump's plan and certify the votes?' a student named Jared, pictured, asked Pence

'James Madison,' was Pence's response referring to one of the Founding Fathers. His answer drew applause from the gathered crowd

'James Madison,' was Pence's response referring to one of the Founding Fathers. His answer drew applause from the gathered crowd


'On January 5th, you were convinced that the election was correctly stolen,' a student named Jared said. 'You, Trump, Peter Navarro, John Eastman, and others had a plan on the morning of the 6th to send the certification back to the states. What is the name of the person who convinced you to buck President Trump's plan and certify the votes?' 

Pence responded forthrightly: 'James Madison.'

Madison, one of the Founding Fathers and the fourth president of the United States is often considered the 'father of the Constitution.' 

Pence then followed up once more as he spoke to the student directly rubbishing his questions: 'Everything you've recited relative to me is false,' he began. 

'The Constitution is very clear that elections are to be governed at the state level. The Founders actually made that decision at the Constitutional Convention. And the only role of the federal government was to open and count the electoral votes that were sent by the states. 


A mob of supporters of then-U.S. President Donald Trump climb through a window they broke as they storm the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington on January 6

A mob of supporters of then-U.S. President Donald Trump climb through a window they broke as they storm the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington on January 6

'I understand the disappointment in the election,' Pence responded. 'You might remember I was on the ballot. But you've got to be willing to do your duty. And the time may come that some of you are in that position, or one like it. And I just have a feeling based on the shining faces I'm seeing around here you're going to be men and women who do your duty in that time as well.' 

Pence also quoted the Bible as guiding his actions on that day recalling: 'Psalm 15 says he who keeps his oath even when it hurts.' 

Pence explained that he had written a letter to Congress to express his concern over various voting in some states, despite there being no evidence of widespread voter fraud in any state during the 2020 election.

As vice president, Pence presided over the joint session where lawmakers certified the results of the 2020 election

As vice president, Pence presided over the joint session where lawmakers certified the results of the 2020 election

Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi resume presiding over a Joint session of Congress to certify the 2020 Electoral College results after the Capitol attack

Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi resume presiding over a Joint session of Congress to certify the 2020 Electoral College results after the Capitol attack

Trump's tweet was  false. Pence does not have the power to reject slates of electors

Trump's tweet was  false. Pence does not have the power to reject slates of electors

Donald Trump went after his own VP in a tweetstorm on the morning of January 6 in the hope that Pence would refuse to certify the results of the election

Donald Trump went after his own VP in a tweetstorm on the morning of January 6 in the hope that Pence would refuse to certify the results of the election

'I continue to share those concerns and I support efforts in states to improve voter integrity as has been done in places like Georgia and Arizona and elsewhere.' Pence said.

'You've got to be willing to do your duty,' Pence explained calmly to the listening students.   

When Pence refused to intervene on January 6, Trump then turned on the vice president and attacked him on Twitter while the siege on the Capitol was underway.

Earlier this year, Pence said that he and Trump have spoken 'many times' since leaving office but that 'I don't know if we'll ever see eye to eye' about January 6.

The siege saw Pence rushed out of the Senate chamber by secret service agents and rioters stormed the halls of Congress. 

Pence served Trump with loyalty for four years with the election certification being the only clear break between the pair. 


U.S. Capitol Police officers with guns drawn watch as insurrectionist loyal to President Donald Trump try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol

U.S. Capitol Police officers with guns drawn watch as insurrectionist loyal to President Donald Trump try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol 

Throughout Trump's term, Pence had specialized in remaining quietly in the background, avoiding anything that would draw the president's rage. That all ended on January 6th

Throughout Trump's term, Pence had specialized in remaining quietly in the background, avoiding anything that would draw the president's rage. That all ended on January 6th

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