The Proud Boys would have killed Vice President Mike Pence if given the chance during the Capitol riots of January 6, 2021. They also would have killed Nancy Pelosi if they could have gotten their hands on her.
This was discussed during the ongoing January 6 hearings. Representative Pete Aguilar (D) questioned Greg Jacob, Pence's chief legal counsel about his experience during the Capitol riots. Jacobs was with Pence during the ordeal which included the necessity for Pence to hide in an undisclosed location.
"Make no mistake about the fact that the vice president's life was in danger. A recent court filing by the Department of Justice explains that a confidential informant from the Proud Boys told the FBI that the Proud Boys would have killed Mike Pence if given a chance." (Rep. Pete Aguilar)
Referencing a court filing from the Department of Justice, Aguilar told of a confidential informant who had said that the Proud Boys would have killed anyone they could have gotten their hands on, including Pence and Pelosi.
The Proud Boys are a far-right group established during the 2016 Presidential election, won by Donald Trump. Though the group denies harboring racist ideology, "the organization is deeply rooted in white nationalism and misogyny" according to the University of Maryland's terrorism research center known as START. Six have died in planned and spontaneous violent attacks orchestrated by the Proud Boys since 2017.
Pence was a target of rioters because he refused to deny certification of the election of Joe Biden as president, even after being urged to do so by Donald Trump.
"When we got down to the secure location, Secret Service directed us to get into the cars, which I did. Then I noticed that the Vice President had not, so I got out of the car I had gotten into, and I understood that the Vice President had refused to get into the car...The Vice President did not want to take any chance that the world would see the Vice President of the United States fleeing the United States capitol. He was determined that we would complete the work that we had set out to do that day - that was his Constitutional duty to see through." (Greg Jacob, Pence's lawyer)
Photos of Pence hiding during the riot were shown at the hearings. The undisclosed location appeared to be an underground garage or loading dock. In the images, Pence is surrounded by team members as he tried communicating on his phone, apparently checking on the safety of others. According to Jacobs' testimony, Pence refused to leave as he did not wish to have the world witness the American Vice President fleeing from a violent mob.
When asked if then President Donald Trump ever called to check on the safety of Pence and his team, Jacob responded, "he did not". He went on to say that Pence and his wife reacted to this, "with frustration".
Jacob was asked about an email he sent to Dr. John Eastman while in the midst of the riot. In it, he blamed Eastman and his "bullshit" as being the reason the United States capitol was "under siege". Eastman replied that it was Pence's fault for not going along with the plan.
Eastman is an ex-lawyer of Donald Trump's who sought a pardon from the president for his role in creating the scheme to overturn the election results with the argument that the vice president has the authority to unilaterally reject election results. The pardon request strongly suggests that those around Trump knew that the scheme was illegal. According to Aguilar, Eastman pled the Fifth 100 times during his testimony on the events of January 6, refusing to answer questions.
While arguing that Pence had the authority to overturn Biden's victory over Trump, Eastman also claimed that this was not within the authority of Al Gore in 2000, nor within Kamala Harris' in 2024. Jacob stated that Pence was never swayed by such an outlandish claim that the framers of the Constitution intended him to have this special privilege.
In the hours after the riot had been brought under control, Eastman implored Jacob to encourage Pence to adhere to the plan he and Trump had advocated for. Days later, Jacob shared the email with Pence, who described it as "rubber room stuff". When asked what he understood Pence to mean by this, Jacob explained that Eastman's attempt to push the vice president to take part in the scheme, even after seeing the results of it, was "certifiably crazy".
"The total number of electors appointed to vote for President of the United States is 538. Within that whole number, a majority is 270. The votes for President of the United States are as follows: Joseph R. Biden Jr. of the state of Delaware has received 306 votes. Donald J. Trump of the state of Florida has received 232 votes." (Vice President Mike Pence, following the Capitol Riots of January 6, 2021)