Capitol Riot

Pardon Request, Pressure on Pence: Top Video From the 3rd Hearing of the Jan. 6 Panel

The committee turned to attempts to persuade Vice President Mike Pence to stop Joe Biden from becoming president

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The House select committee investigating the Capitol riot said Thursday that Vice President Mike Pence was in danger after he rebuffed President Donald Trump's scheme to stop the election of Joe Biden.

The committee also revealed that the lawyer who devised the scheme, John Eastman, asked for a pardon before Trump left office.

Pence turned back entreaties by Trump to reject the Electoral College votes giving the presidency to Biden. An informant later told the FBI that members of the Proud Boys said they would have killed Pence if given the chance.

On Jan. 6, 2020, the vice president sheltered underground as a mob overran the Capitol shouting," Hang Mike Pence."

Trump earlier told Pence, "I don’t want to be your friend anymore if you don’t do this."

Catch up on Thursday's hearing through the following videos.

Cheney: Trump Knew His Plan Was Illegal

During Thursday’s Jan. 6 hearing, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., revealed that then-President Donald Trump and attorney John Eastman knew it would be illegal for then-Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

Eastman, the lawyer working for Trump to stop Biden from becoming president, acknowledged in Trump's presence that his plan violated the Electoral Count Act, Pence's general counsel testified. Eastman wanted Pence to either reject the Electoral College votes or to declare a recess and return the votes to what Trump's team claimed were states in dispute, the general counsel, Greg Jacob, said.

Trump: 'I Don't Want to Be Your Friend'

The Jan. 6 committee presented eyewitness testimony to an argument between former President Donald Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence on the morning of the U.S. Capitol riot, during which Trump reportedly called Pence a “wimp.”
In Thursday’s Jan. 6 hearing, Rep. Pete Aguilar detailed a conversation former President Donald Trump had with former Vice President Mike Pence after he said he could not overturn the election.

Trump and Pence had a contentious telephone call the morning of Jan. 6, witnesses recounted.

"The conversation was pretty heated," the president's daughter, Ivanka Trump, said.

Trump at one point called Pence a "wimp," and told him he did not have the courage to make a hard decision, witnesses said.

'Hang Mike Pence'

In Thursday’s hearing on the Capitol riot, Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) called Jan. 6 a “legal scheme in deception.”

Rioters at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2020, threatened the life of the vice president, chanting "Bring out Pence" and "Hang Mike Pence" on the grounds of the Capitol where a scaffold and noose had been erected.

Pence Refuses to Leave Capitol

Greg Jacob, former counsel to Vice President Mike Pence, revealed during Thursday’s Jan. 6 committee hearing that the former vice president refused to comply with the secret service who was trying to remove him to safety during the riots. “You’re not the one behind the wheel.”
Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) said his committee’s investigation found that after former President Donald Trump tweeted that “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage” to send votes back to the states, the situation at the U.S. Capitol intensified.

Pence hid in an underground safe spot as rioters overran the Capitol but refused to get into a car that the Secret Service had waiting for him, his general counsel testified. The vice president did not want to be seen fleeing from the mob, Jacob told the House committee.

Eastman Asks for Pardon

In Thursday’s Jan. 6 hearing, Rep. Pete Aguilar revealed that John Eastman emailed Rudy Giuliani after the Capitol riot asking to be on the “pardon list.”

Eastman was among a number of Trump aides and advisers who sought pardons before Biden assumed office, the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot revealed.

Trump Allies Pressure Pence

The Jan. 6 committee presented a video compilation on Thursday, showcasing former President Donald Trump’s allies during media appearances and recorded testimony on efforts to pressure then-Vice President Mike Pence to stop Joe Biden's election victory.

Trump launched a campaign of private and public pressure on Pence, the committee said. "I hope that our great vice president, our great vice president, comes through for us," Trump says on videotape at a rally. "He's a great guy. Of course if he doesn't come through I won't like him quite as much."

The vice president did not waver in his opposition to the plan, his aides said

Chairman's Warning

After thanking former Vice President Mike Pence and two of his close allies for their courage during the U.S. Capitol riot, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., warned that former President Donald Trump and his allies are prepared to repeat history to “seize the presidency in 2024.”
Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., began Thursday’s hearing of the Jan. 6 committee by thanking former former Vice President Mike Pence for his courage during the U.S. Capitol riot. “We’re fortunate for Mr. Pence’s courage on January 6,” Thompson said. “Our democracy came dangerously close to catastrophe.”

The chairman of the House committee warned that Trump and his allies are continuing to try to seize power. Rep. Bennie Thompson thanked Pence for his courage in withstanding the pressure exerted by Trump and his allies but cautioned that the system could still fail.

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