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Trump pressed, threatened Pence to overturn election, panel hears -Breaking


© Reuters. Mike Pence (former U.S. vice president) speaks on border security at Cochise College Sierra Vista Arizona U.S.A, 13 June 2022. REUTERS/Rebecca Noble


Richard Cowan and Patricia Zengerle

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – Former President Donald Trump pressed Mike Pence to reverse his defeat in 2020 despite repeatedly being told it was illegal, aides of Pence informed the congressional committee that Pence made the request to Pence following the attack on the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6, 2021.

The Democratic-led House of Representatives Select Committee said Trump was still exerting pressure even though a mob of supporters threatened the Capitol. As Pence and the lawmakers met to officially certify the victory of President Joe Biden in November 2020, members of that select committee claimed Trump did not stop his campaign.

Nine members of the committee used at least three public hearings in March to prove that Trump’s attempts to reverse his defeat were illegal.

Trump denied any wrongdoing and reaffirmed his false accusation that he lost due to widespread fraud that benefited Democrat Biden. Trump’s supporters, including some Republican lawmakers, dismiss the Jan.6 panel as political witch hunt.

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Trump saw the Jan. 6 certification vote as an opportunity to keep the presidency, despite losing the election.

Marc Short, Pence’s chief-of-staff, testified that Pence said to Trump, “many times”, that he had not the authority to stop Congress voting certifications, just as Trump wanted.

Gregory Jacob was an attorney for Pence who stated that the principle proponent of the theory, John Eastman (an attorney for the president), admitted to him in front of President Obama two days prior that his plan of having Pence suspend the procedure would be against the law.

Eastman had suggested that Pence might reject certain results from states if they are illegitimate. This would allow Republicans in these states to declare Trump victorious despite what the vote actually counts.

Pence’s advisers told the committee that this idea did not have legal support.

Former U.S. Appeals Court judge J. Michael Luttig said that it was “astonishing” these arguments were even thought up, and entertained by President Obama.

Trump is expected to run for President again in 2024. Committee members and witnesses have warned Trump that he will not concede defeat regardless of the outcome.

Luttig stated that Donald Trump, his supporters and allies are still a danger to American democracy almost two years ago on January 20, 2021.

A letter Eastman had sent to Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani (ex-New York City Mayor), asking for a pardon. The email was shown by the committee. Eastman didn’t receive one.


The hearing included several disturbing clips featuring some of the many Trump supporters that descended upon the Capitol following a rally at which Trump had repeatedly criticised Pence. They chanted for Pence’s removal from the Capitol or his hanging.

Trump wrote at 2:24 PM, as the attack was still going. He said that Pence didn’t have the courage to end the count.

In video testimony, Sarah Matthews (a Trump White House staffer) said that it felt as if he were adding fuel to the flames by tweeting this.

Rep. Pete Aguilar stated that a witness told the Federal Bureau of Investigation the Proud Boys were one of the right-wing organizations involved in the attack on the Capitol. He said they would have killed Pence had they been able get to them.

Members of the Committee stated that Trump’s remarks against Pence incited crowd members.

Pence was seen hiding from the elements by photos displayed by the committee. Jacob, who was there with Pence in the attack, stated that Pence refused to flee and did not wish to be forced from the building by the demonstrators. He stated that “The vice-president did not wish to have any chance of seeing the United States Vice President fleeing the U.S. Capitol.”

An attack at the Capitol caused delays in the certification of election results, more than 140 officers were injured and many people died.

Even after the police had stopped the attack on the Capitol and reclaimed it, Eastman tried to pressure Pence’s staff to reverse the vote.

In an email that was released by the committee, Eastman sent Jacob a message at 11:44 pm.