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January 26, 2023
Photos of former Vice President Mike Pence and his family hiding during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot were unveiled Wednesday. The photos were obtained exclusively by ABC News.
ABC Chief Washington Correspondent Jonathan Karl described the images in his book “Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show” and previously said the former vice president’s team did not want him to release them.
When rioters stormed the complex, Pence’s Secret Service detail moved him, along with his wife and their daughter, Charlotte, first to his ceremonial office. One photo shared by Karl shows then-Vice President Mike Pence sitting with his daughter and brother while his wife, Karen, draws the curtains in the ceremonial room off of the Senate floor where he was evacuated to after the Capitol riot began.
Mike Pence and his family were then moved to an underground loading dock area where the vice president refused to get in a vehicle and leave the Capitol.
Pence was at the Capitol on Jan. 6 to preside over the counting of electoral votes. Pence has dismissed Trump’s claims of election fraud, saying in a memo that most allegations of voter fraud were “relatively small in number, or cannot be verified.” He also sent a letter to Congress saying he did not have the power to reject Electoral College votes, which Trump had urged him to do.
In November, Karl described to late-night talk show host Stephen Colbert how he got in touch with an “official White House photographer” who was with Mike Pence during the several hours “he was hidden away in the bowels of the Capitol in a place no one has ever really known.” Karl said he saw all the photographs himself.
“It is wild to see that he was in a loading dock in an underground parking garage beneath the Capitol complex,” Karl said in a CBS clip shared by The Late Show. “No place to sit, no desk, no chairs — nothing. He was in this concrete … parking garage with his family.”
“This is the vice president of the United States, and he’s … holed up in a basement,” he added.
In one of the photos, Karl said an aide was showing Mike Pence a tweet from Trump that slammed his vice president for not having “the courage” to try and overturn the results of the 2020 election while he was presiding in the Senate chamber over lawmakers certifying Biden’s victory on the day of the riot.
“It kind of looks like Pence is grimacing, but you can never really tell,” he said to laughs from the audience.
Although he was able to see them, Karl said Mike Pence’s team “refused to let me publish the photographs.” Karl surmised that the House select committee investigating the siege of Congress would be interested in viewing the photos.
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: ABC NEWS