Former United States President Donald Trump (2017-2021) pressured his vice president, Mike Pence, to block the result of the 2020 elections that gave victory to Democrat Joe Biden, knowing that his plan was “illegal”.
This is how the legislative committee investigating the assault on the Capitol on January 6, 2021 tried to demonstrate this Thursday at its third public hearing, with the testimony of witnesses, documents and recordings that support that hypothesis.
Despite not being in the room, the protagonist of this day was Pence, who, according to one of the jurists who appeared as witnesses, prevented a revolution in the country within a “paralyzing constitutional crisis” by disobeying Trump.RELATED
Specifically under the committee’s scrutiny were the pressures that Pence suffered from the president to block the ratification of the result of the November 2020 elections, in which Trump lost to Biden.
On January 6, Pence presided over a joint session of both houses of Congress to endorse the Democrat’s victory, which was suspended for hours by the irruption of hundreds of Trump supporters on Capitol Hill.
The then president publicly and privately pressured Pence to block that legislative session, alleging without evidence that the Democrats had committed electoral fraud, and thus preventing the ratification of Biden’s victory.
Throughout Thursday’s hearing, the committee focused on demonstrating the “unconstitutionality” of what Trump was asking Pence for and that the president did it knowing it was illegal.
One of the witnesses, retired judge Michael Luttig, who was an informal adviser to Pence, stressed that if the then vice president had obeyed Trump that day, “the United States would have immediately plunged into what would have amounted to a revolution within of a paralyzing constitutional crisis”.
In the videos shown at the hearing, several witnesses questioned in the past by the committee appeared, including Trump’s daughter and former adviser, Ivanka Trump, who testified that the then-president had a telephone conversation with Pence on the morning of January 6. .
Ivanka Trump described that call as a “pretty heated” conversation, saying her father used a different tone of voice from that used with Pence in the past, while a personal assistant to the president, Nick Luna, recalled hearing Trump call the vice president a “wimp.” “.
In another recording, Pence’s former chief of staff, Mark Short, assured that Trump lied to the press by assuring in a statement published on the eve of the assault on Capitol Hill that the vice president supported his plan to overturn the result of the elections.
According to Short, on January 5 Pence told Trump that he could do nothing to reverse his defeat and shortly after The New York Times published information about what happened at that meeting, to which the president responded with a statement where he said that both were “absolutely in agreement that the vice president has the power to act”.
Short called that statement “false” and pointed out that Trump “misrepresented the vice president’s point of view.”
To show the link between Trump’s pressure on Pence and the protesters who stormed the Capitol, the committee showed video images with the assailants shouting “traitor” to the vice president, and with the path that the political leader took to hide in a room of the building for 4 hours and a half.
Another of the witnesses at Thursday’s hearing, Pence’s lawyer Gregory Jacob, explained that the politician refused to escape in a vehicle, because “he did not want the world to see the vice president of the United States fleeing from the Capitol, he was determined to complete the work set for that day, which was his constitutional obligation.
Much of the session was devoted to the efforts of one of Trump’s former lawyers, John Eastman, who developed in writing the theory that Pence, as vice president, had prerogatives to decide the outcome of the election, despite being aware that it had no legal basis.
Legislator Liz Cheney, one of the two Republicans who are part of the committee and who is opposed to Trump, highlighted during her speech that the former president and Eastman conspired to pressure Pence to block the results.
However, Luttig pointed out in his testimony Thursday that Eastman’s theory was “incorrect” and that there is no precedent in either the Constitution or the laws of the country to support that theory.
For his part, Jacob assured that Eastman himself told him that he knew his theory would not hold up before the Supreme Court.
In fact, Eastman himself emailed Trump’s then-personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, days after January 6 to ask him to be included on a list of possible recipients of a presidential pardon, which he ultimately failed to obtain.
Five people died in the assault on the Capitol, including an officer after suffering a heart attack hours after the assault, and about 140 agents were attacked. In addition, four policemen subsequently committed suicide.
Reliable, trustworthy and easy. Multimedia news agency in Spanish.