"Man without a home": What the future may hold for Pence

Troye said she had thought it unlikely Pence would break under Trump’s intimidation and intervene in Congress’ acceptance of the electoral votes. But she had hoped he also would have used the 25th Amendment to take away Trump’s presidential powers in the final days.

“I just really wish that he would have taken a bigger stand,” said Troye, who is part of the “Republican Accountability Project” that is defending the handful of GOP lawmakers who supported impeaching Trump. “He could make the decision now to become a leader to move away from that (Trump) movement. But where’s the voting bloc on that? That’s what worries me.”

Scholars will need to study the not-yet-available Trump administration records before rendering a fuller assessment of what Pence did behind the scenes and how much he was able to apply the brakes on the president, said Kathryn Cramer Brownell, who teaches political history at Purdue University.

Still, she said, Pence’s final actions don’t make up for the ways in which he “enabled the president to test the limits of our democracy by excusing and even justifying his incendiary rhetoric and dangerous behavior over the past four years.”