I have just watched Iron Man 3, and saw the vice president being arrested at the end. But he hasn't done anything wrong – or at least, not that I noticed.

Why is he arrested?

4 Answers 4


When Rhodes and Tony interrogate the Mandarin/Trevor, he says, “The next part may involve the vice president, is that important?” About a minute or so later, they call the VP. I assume that Trevor was aware of the VP’s complicity and told them both. Rhodes probably then made a point of having the VP arrested based on this information.

The vice president was complicit in Killian’s plans. Once the President had been killed, he would have taken over as a puppet leader, following Killian’s orders in exchange for a dose of the Extremis to cure his daughter’s disability.

At some point in the film (I think before the attack on Air Force One?), Rhodes calls the VP and warns him of the impending attack. The VP doesn’t pass this information on to Air Force One – indeed, when a Secret Service agent asks him whether anything is wrong, he says no.

This is our hint that he’s up to no good. If nothing else, he let everybody on Air Force One be killed when it was blown up. He may well have known about the attack already, if Killian told him, and not done anything about it for his daughter’s sake. I don’t think his connection to Killian is explicit in the film’s dialogue, but it’s fairly heavily hinted at, and this is the most prominent point.

That’s why we see Rhodes supervising his arrest at the end of the film — he told the VP of the attack, and so he can work out why the warning never got through.

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    Also, it's not explicitly stated, but the VP was probably the one who got the Mandarin's phone number onto the president's cell phone. Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 20:16
  • Mostly correct. I don't think that the Mandarin has the opportunity to fully explain how the VP is involved, and as a viewer I think you're supposed to misunderstand this as a threat against the VP. Rhodes then warns the VP about the threat against the POTUS in good faith, and only puts two and two together at the end of the film, as you said. Also, there is a line of dialogue during the climactic fight between Killian and Stark where Killian says he no longer needs Stark because he has found a new powerful political ally/puppet -presumably the VP - to help him sell his Extremis tech.
    – Daniel
    Commented May 5, 2019 at 12:17

It's been quite a long time since I watched the movie so I can't remember the exact specifics, but he was involved in the plot to kidnap the President in exchange for getting Extremis to cure his daughter. I think the general idea was that he'd take over as President when the current one was killed by terrorists, then would take orders from Killian, starting the wars Killian needed in order to market and profit from Extremis. That's what he was arrested for at the end of the movie.

  • <=4 months is a quite a long time? Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 16:21
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    Having seen IM3 numerous times, this is accurate.
    – user1027
    Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 16:36
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    @JackBNimble My memory for things I read is good, my memory for things I watch not quite so much. For me four months is a long time in which to forget most of the finer points of a movie I've only seen once, especially since I've watched a lot of other things since. Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 16:38

The actual charge would be Treason, well to start with anyway, kidnapping as well. He was part of a plot to kill the President. Then you have the Felony Murder Rule, which means that anyone involved in a felony, like treason, kidnapping etc, can be charged with murder if one person kills someone even accidently during the course of the crime. So one murder charge for everyone still on the plane when it blows up, the pilot, co-pilot and such; plus a conspiracy to committ murder for the ones that were saved.


Yeah, if u noticed, when they called the VP they told him, that their was a hit on the President, to call it in but he gave the security guard the phone after he asked was everything ok, he said, it cudnt be better, meaning he already knew, which is why they showed him, kissing his daughter in the wheel chair, showing her leg, was missing. He knew that the guy wud heal his daughter but he isnt to be trusted either

  • This answer is not very clear. Do you think you could elaborate a bit more?
    – Buzz
    Commented Dec 18, 2018 at 0:37

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