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Jan. 6 panel turns attention to Pence at Thursday's hearing

Thousands of Trump supporters — many chanting "Hang Mike Pence" — marched on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, as Pence met with lawmakers for what is normally a routine ceremony to certify the election.

U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol holds its opening public hearing in Washington
A video of former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence speaking is shown on a screen during the hearing of the U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol, on Capitol Hill in Washington, on June 9, 2022.
POOL/REUTERS
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WASHINGTON — The congressional committee investigating last year's deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol turns its attention on Thursday to then-President Donald Trump's multiple attempts to pressure former Vice President Mike Pence to overturn his 2020 election defeat.

The House of Representatives Select Committee has scheduled a hearing for noon Central, looking at efforts by Trump and some of his associates to convince Pence not to formally certify Democrat Joe Biden's victory in the November 2020 presidential election.

More coverage of the insurrection
The committee also put at the center of Thursday's hearing the activities of Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department official and fervent Trump ally.
The committee showed a video detailing how Trump’s plan depended on legislatures in multiple states adopting alternate electors. The then-president leaned heavily on state and local officials to take action while his team of lawyers relied on conspiracy theories to back the push.
Tuesday’s hearing is the select committee’s fourth in a series that aims to demonstrate the former President Donald Trump's role in the attack.
The panel heard testimony from Greg Jacob, who as Vice President Mike Pence’s chief counsel was present for multiple meetings in which John Eastman and President Donald Trump pushed the vice president to intervene. Jacob said that Pence never wavered from his initial reaction to the idea in early December.
The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that the committee had obtained emails between Thomas and attorney John Eastman, who was involved in efforts to block the certification of President Joe Biden's defeat of Donald Trump in the November 2020 election.
The Jan. 6 committee is as much a symptom of our democracy’s failure as a mechanism for its salvation.
The House of Representatives committee investigating the riot by Trump supporters laid the groundwork on Thursday night for at least five upcoming hearings that will focus on the groups and people it says were involved in plotting and staging the riot. Testimony also will focus on Trump's activities before and during the attack.
I cannot fathom why so many Trump supporters, who wave American flags in the air, call themselves patriots and cloak themselves in the rhetoric of the American Revolution, would continue to support Donald Trump after the horrific events of Jan. 6, 2021.
The panel also showed videotaped testimony from other senior Trump White House officials including then-Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff.
The two witnesses at the first hearing — U.S. Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards and filmmaker Nick Quested — will both focus on the violence of the Jan. 6 assault.

Thousands of Trump supporters — many chanting "Hang Mike Pence" — marched on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, as Pence met with lawmakers for what is normally a routine ceremony to certify the election. Some erected a gallows they said was intended for Pence.

The certification had become a focus for Trump, who saw it as a last-ditch chance to retain the presidency despite being defeated. His supporters flocked to Washington to rally with Trump, who had made repeated false claims that the election was stolen through widespread voting fraud.

Thursday's hearing will feature testimony from Greg Jacob, who served as counsel to Pence, and retired U.S. Appeals Court Judge J. Michael Luttig, who was an informal adviser to the vice president.

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Videotaped testimony of former Pence chief of staff Marc Short is expected to be broadcast.

The hearing is the third of at least six public hearings this month at which the nine-member, Democratic-led committee will discuss preliminary results of its nearly year-long investigation of the events up to and on Jan. 6, 2021.

Committee aides said the hearing would discuss emergence of a plan advocated by Trump associates including attorney John Eastman that the vice president could unilaterally reject certified electors from disputed states. Pence refused to accept that theory.

"It's a violation of the vice president's constitutional obligations and constitutional law," but Trump chose the path of "escalating" this violation, an aide said.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, aides also said the session would look at the pressure campaign on Pence, driven by Trump. They promised new material documenting those efforts, with testimony from the witnesses in the room as well as taped testimony from some of the more than 1,000 depositions and interviews.

The committee intends to lay out a timeline of Pence's day on Jan. 6, which could detail contacts with Trump and Secret Service agents who spirited the vice president to a secure location as the crowd threatened him.

The attack on the Capitol delayed certification of the election for hours, injured more than 140 police officers and led to several deaths. More than 840 people have been arrested and charged so far.

The onslaught marked the only time in U.S. history that power was not passed peacefully from one president to another.

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(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle and Richard Cowan; editing by Andy Sullivan and David Gregorio.)

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This story was written by one of our partner news agencies. Forum Communications Company uses content from agencies such as Reuters, Kaiser Health News, Tribune News Service and others to provide a wider range of news to our readers. Learn more about the news services FCC uses here.

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