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‘Peaceful transition’: Pompeo has a flawed memory of Jan. 6

If former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sees Jan. 6 as an example of a “peaceful transition" of power, his memory of the insurrectionist attack is flawed.


Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has a habit of making unfortunate comments, but if he sees Jan. 6 as an example of a “peaceful transition,” I have some bad news for the Kansas Republican as he eyes national office. NBC News reported:

“We delivered a peaceful transition on January 6, 2021, exactly as our Constitution requires,” Pompeo, a potential 2024 presidential candidate, told Sky News. Pompeo was responding to questions about why his new book — “Never Give an Inch: Fighting for the America I Love” — does not focus more on the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the election, because it reflects on his four years working in the Trump administration.

Evidently, the controversial former cabinet secretary looks at Jan. 6 from an all’s-well-that-ends-well perspective.

“It’s terrible when folks commit these kinds of acts of violence, and I hope they’ll be prosecuted appropriately for doing that. But make no mistake about it, that night America also showed its strength. Vice President Pence finished the election. We had a peaceful transition of power,” Pompeo said.

Not quite.

To be sure, the peaceful transition of power is a bedrock principle of the American experiment. It’s something Americans have been able to count on for centuries.

It’s also a principle that Pompeo’s former boss chose to reject.

Donald Trump responded to his defeat by rejecting the will of his own country’s electorate, summoning radicalized followers, lying to them, and then deploying the enraged extremists to U.S. Capitol.

“Vice President Pence finished the election”? Maybe so, but hours earlier, during an insurrectionist riot, he was hunted by pro-Trump radicals — some of whom chanted, “Hang Mike Pence” — who intended to do him harm.

Nothing about this was “peaceful.”

Two weeks later, President Joe Biden was inaugurated against a backdrop of National Guard troops on Capitol Hill, who were there to ensure the failed former president’s followers didn’t commit additional acts of political violence.

In the same interview, Pompeo added yesterday, in reference to Jan. 6, “There was a bad day at the Capitol. The security team there failed to prevent these guys from rioting there.”

Common sense suggests he might have some criticisms for the lying politician who inspired “these guys” to launch the attack, as opposed to criticizing law enforcement, but Pompeo apparently has a GOP base to impress.