Jan. 6 committee highlights Trump’s efforts to pressure Pence to overturn election results

WASHINGTON, D.C. — New testimony released Thursday by the House committee tasked with investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack at the U.S. Capitol focused on efforts by former President Donald Trump to pressure his Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the 2020 election results.

The committee worked to show that Pence repeatedly told Trump he did not have the authority to change the election results and that Pence ultimately became a target during the Capitol attack because he fought back against the pressure from Trump to overturn the results anyway.

They played a clip of Pence speaking to the Federalist Society on Feb. 4, 2022.

“President Trump said I had the right to overturn the election,” said Pence in the February clip. “President Trump is wrong.”

It was a message that Pence repeatedly told Trump directly, according to testimony by Pence’s former Chief of Staff.

“Was it your position that the Vice President had directly conveyed his position on these issues to the president, not just to the world through a dear colleague letter, but directly to President Trump?” asked the attorney in the video deposition.

“Many times,” replied Marc Short, former Chief of Staff for Pence.

“The former president wanted Pence to reject the votes and either declare the winner or send the votes back to the states to be counted again. Mike Pence said no. He resisted the pressure. He knew it was illegal. He knew it was wrong,” said Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), Chair of the Jan. 6 Select Committee. “Thanks in part to Mike Pence, our democracy withstood Donald Trump’s scheme..”

The committee also worked to show that memos from an attorney for former President Trump made false claims about the electoral process to falsely show the results could be changed.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), Vice Chair of the Jan. 6 Select Committee, showed a quote from a memo from attorney John Eastman that said in part: “7 states have transmitted dual slates of electors for the President of the Senate.”

“Were there in fact dual slates of electors from seven states?” Cheney asked Greg Jacob, former counsel to Pence, who testified before the committee in-person on Thursday.

“No, there were not,” responded Jacob.

Committee members said that former President Trump continued to pressure Pence anyway and played a clip of Trump speaking to his rally on Jan. 6 prior to the Capitol attack.

“Mike Pence, I hope you’re going to stand up for the good of our constitution and if you’re not, I’m going to be very disappointed in you,” said Trump on Jan. 6.

“If Pence caved, we’re going to drag expletives through the streets,” a Trump supporter is shown saying in a video clip on Jan. 6.

As the committee continues to release new testimony, House Republicans continue to bash the committee.

House Republican leadership held a press conference earlier this week.

“Their seething hatred for Donald Trump and anybody who has ever supported him, that’s what comes through in all of these hearings,” said Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA).

The next Jan. 6 committee hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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