Commission Investigating Capitol Invasion Debates Trump’s Pressure on Vice President | World

The legislative commission investigating the Capitol takeover plans to focus on Thursday on the pressure campaign mounted by Donald Trump against his former vice president to overturn his defeat in the 2020 presidential election.

Liz Cheney, vice chair of the committee handling the January 6, 2021, attack, said the third hearing would address Trump’s effort to convince Mike Pence to reject Joe Biden’s victory.

Inauguration of the hearing of the committee investigating the invasion of the United States Capitol, on June 9, 2022. — Photo: Reuters

“As a federal judge indicated, this likely violated two federal criminal statutes. Trump had no factual basis for what he was doing and was told it was illegal,” Cheney said.

“President Trump conspired with a lawyer named John Eastman and others to overturn the January 6 election result,” he said.

A committee aide said the hearing will inquire about Eastman’s role in the plot.

Cheney published included a sentence spoken by Trump’s White House attorney, Eric Herschmann, to Eastman the day after the insurrection: “Get a good criminal lawyer. You’re going to need one.”

The committee holds a series of hearings on the takeover of the Capitol by a crowd of Trump supporters to overturn the 2020 election results.

Allies told Trump he lost

Several close allies of Trump assured that they told him that Biden had won the election fairly, but that despite that, the former president promoted his narrative of electoral fraud.

As Trump’s dozens of lawsuits to overturn the results failed, he turned to Pence for help.

Donald Trump speaking at an NRA event on May 27, 2022 – Photo: Brandon Bell/AFP

Both at his rallies and on Twitter, Trump exerted intense pressure on Pence to use his position as Senate president to reject the January 6 election results.

“We will show that this pressure campaign contributed directly to the attack on Capitol Hill and put the vice president’s life in danger,” said an aide to the committee.

During his “Stop the Steal” rally ahead of the session to ratify the results and Biden’s victory, Trump mentioned Pence several times when calling on his supporters to march to the Capitol.

But Pence wrote to Congress that the Founding Fathers never intended the vice president to have “unilateral authority” to overturn election recounts, adding that “no vice president in the history of the United States has asserted such authority.”

The mob threatened to hang Pence for not cooperating when they stormed the Capitol and even erected a gallows in front of the building.

Cheney said last week that when cries of “hang Mike Pence” erupted, Trump responded, “Maybe our supporters are right” and Pence “deserves it.”

As the dust settled days after the uprising, Pence accused the media of excessive coverage of the attack, but has since taken a more aggressive line toward Trump in an attempt to clear the way for the 2024 White House race.

“The presidency belongs to the American people and the American people only,” the former vice president told the conservative Federalist Society. “And frankly, there is no idea more un-American than the notion that one person can elect the president,” he said.

The panel will hear from J. Michael Luttig, a conservative jurist and retired federal judge who informed Pence that he had no authority to intervene in the election results.

“The vice president’s sole responsibility and power under the Constitution is to faithfully count the Electoral College votes,” Luttig said the day before the uprising.

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