Trump’s Pence Pressure Campaign the Focus of the Jan. 6 Commission Today

You can watch the hearing live Thursday afternoon here on CBCNews.ca

The Jan. 6 Congressional Committee is set on Thursday afternoon to pounce on Donald Trump’s last-ditch effort to save the 2020 election by pressuring Vice President Mike Pence to reject the electoral count — a highly unusual and possibly illegal strategy initiated in the run-up to the US Capitol riots.

With two live witnesses Thursday, the House panel plans to show how Trump’s false claims about election fraud caused him to reach for alternatives as courts reversed dozens of lawsuits challenging the vote.

Trump, after weeks of publicly refusing to accept the result, stuck to the obscure plan of conservative law professor John Eastman and launched a public and private press campaign on Pence days before the vice president’s joint session of the Congress on January 6 would preside to confirm Joe Biden’s election victory. A federal judge has said it is “more likely than not” that Trump has committed crimes over the settlement.

The committee will listen to Greg Jacob, the vice president’s counsel who fought off Eastman’s ideas that Pence would carry out the plan; and retired federal judge Michael Luttig, who called the plan of Eastman, his former clerk, “false at any time.”

The panel could potentially present portions of testimony from Pence’s former chief of staff, Marc Short, who testified under subpoena for eight hours.

Thursday’s hearing is expected to reveal new evidence about the danger Pence faced that day as the crowd stormed the Capitol, shouting “hang Mike Pence!” with a gallows.

Trump, allies proposed alternative voters

Along with hundreds of members of Congress that day, Pence was forced to seek safety in the precarious hours after the attack began, though he allegedly refused to be expelled from the premises by Secret Service.

As the committee has teased in taped interviews over the past week, Pence, not Trump, reached out to the Pentagon to send reinforcements to quell the insurgency. Hours later, after the chaos subsided, Pence reconvened the ceremonial election process and officially confirmed Biden’s victory and Trump’s defeat at just after 3:40 a.m. on Jan. 7.

Attorney John Eastman gestures as he speaks alongside Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, at a rally in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021, which preceded the Capitol riot. (Jim Bourg/Reuters)

Thursday’s hearing will also unpack Eastman’s plan to send alternate voter lists from the five or seven states Trump contested, including Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. With slates competing for Trump or Biden, it was hoped that Pence would be forced to dismiss them and send them back to the states to sort it out, according to the plan.

Pence declined the plan.

With 1,000 interviews and stacks of 140,000 documents, the commission illustrates how Trump’s false claims of voter fraud became a rallying cry for thousands of Americans to head to Washington to attend a January 6 rally and then descend to Capitol Hill to “fight like hell”. for his presidency. Ashli ​​Babbitt, a Trump supporter, was shot and killed by Capitol police while part of a mob trying to gain entry into a hallway.

VIEW | Trump’s attorney general pushes back and other highlights from the last session:

Trump's Pence Pressure Campaign the Focus of the Jan. 6 Commission Today

Jan 6 Commission Destroys Trump’s Stolen Election Theory

The United States Congressional Committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot used its second hearing to try to disprove former President Donald Trump’s theory that the 2020 election was stolen.

More than 800 people have been arrested in connection with the Capitol siege, while members of extremist groups the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers are charged with rare sedition.

Two former White House officials under Trump, Steve Bannon and Peter Navarro, face criminal charges for ignoring subpoenas from the Jan. 6 commission.

Report expected by the end of the year

The House committee is expected to report on its overall findings before the end of the year. In midterm elections in November, the chamber could fall under Republican control, in which case the investigation into January 6 would almost certainly be dropped.

Trump’s actions during the election and its aftermath are also receiving attention elsewhere.

Georgia officials are currently holding a special grand jury to investigate attempts by Trump and his White House to pressure state officials to undo a Biden win in that state, while Navarro also recently said he had received a subpoena. from the United States Department of Justice to appear before a federal grand jury, although the reasons are not entirely clear.

Trump, who was also impeached in 2021 for inciting the January 6 insurgency, remains a powerful force for the Republican Party. Several US candidates in primaries this spring, including earlier this week, have reiterated his claims of vote-rigging in 2020.

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