Tuesday, March 21, 2023

According to the Commission on Attack on the Capitol, Trump Knew His Plan to Stop Biden’s Election Was Illegal

“Let’s hang Mike Pence.” It was one of those storming the Capitol on January 6, 2021. The Vice President of the United States was preparing to testify Joe Biden’s election victory over Donald Trump and the latter’s supporters did not forgive him. The commission investigating this attack on democracy has focused this Thursday on displaying Trump’s insistent pressure to break the law and block the devolution of powers for his vice president.

With a careful script that mixes statements from commission members, witnesses and audiovisual material, the commission has shown that Trump was aware that his attempt to deny the vote to declare Pence Biden president was “illegal.” and unconstitutional”. to the members of the Commission. Still, Trump “relentlessly” put pressure on his vice president. “Our democracy has come catastrophically close to catastrophe,” said commission chair Benny Thompson.

The commission has shown how Trump upset the public before attacking the Capitol and asked Pence to listen to him: “Mike Pence has to cut his losses and if he doesn’t, it will hurt our nation.” And Mike Pence, I hope you stand up for the good of our Constitution and the good of our country. And if you don’t, I’ll be very disappointed with you. Tell me now I am.” Trump asked him to return electoral vote certificates to some states. “If Mike Pence does the right thing, we win the election, we become president, and you’re happy,” Trump told supporters outside the White House, about a mile from Capitol Hill.

The commission believes that pressure on Pence to sabotage the election result contributed to the violence that day. “We already know what happened next. Trump’s words had an effect,” said California Democratic Representative Pete Aguilar. With a format that is sometimes almost a documentary, it has reproduced videos of the rioters on their way to the Capitol. “I think hopefully there will be such a show of strength here that Pence decided to do the right thing,” one of them said. The Congressmen have returned to see the pictures of the attack. The crowd came at a distance of about 15 meters from the Vice President. Pence had to take shelter for about five hours. His life was in danger. Four Trump supporters and five police officers were killed between that day and the days after.

“President Trump was told repeatedly that Mike Pence lacked the constitutional and legal authority to do what he was required to do,” said Liz Cheney, Wyoming member of Congress and the commission’s vice chairman, which became Has given a summary of the testimony. Trump’s staunch opponents within the Republican ranks, even at the cost of retaliation from his own party.

Trump called on Pence to put pressure on him, calling him a “wimp” for refusing to accommodate. He continued to push via Twitter even when he already knew a violent riot was taking place on Capitol Hill, according to evidence and testimony shown Thursday. In the first session, Liz Cheney reiterated earlier witnesses’ statements that when threats to hang Pence reached the ears of the then-president, Trump said: “Maybe our supporters are right.” Mike Pence “deserves it”, he claims, he said. The former president denies this, although in a recent interview he expressed sympathy for those who cried out.

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The commission plans to analyze in one of the remaining three sessions how Jan 6 lived in the White House. The focus is on Pence’s role this Thursday. “Vice President Pence understood that his oath of office was more important than his loyalty to Donald Trump. He did his duty. Clearly, President Trump didn’t”, with George W. Bush’s powerful Vice President of the United States Dick Cheney’s daughter Cheney summed up.

Pence himself referred to Trump in an act this year saying he could nullify the election: “President Trump is wrong. He had no right to annul the election. The presidency belongs only to the American people and the American people.” And frankly, there is no idea more anti-American than the notion that a single person can elect the President of the United States.”

Last session, evidence showed that Trump was told the election had been stolen was by no means a factor. It went on for more than two and a half hours to show how various positions and experts warned Trump that Pence does not have the power to waive the certification of Biden’s victory, considering Trump the winner or returning the vote to the states. Trump’s lawyer John Eastman tried to support that thesis. A judge pointed out three months ago that he sees it as a possibility that Trump and Eastman have committed a crime by conspiring to block the validation of votes in Congress. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, the former president’s personal lawyer, also participated in the maneuver to change the outcome.

One of the experts who has testified is retired judge J.J. Michael Luttig, a highly respected jurist in the conservative ranks who has said that if Pence had violated the law and ignored the election results, “he would have fallen into the United States. One with a constitutional crisis.” what would have been the equivalent of revolution”, something unprecedented in United States history.

Other witnesses who have appeared in the chamber are Greg Jacobs, who was Pence’s legal advisor. He explained that he also tried to convince Eastman that the vice president did not have the ability to disprove election results. He gave the election as an example that George W. Bush won in Florida by a minimal and controversial margin of votes against Al Gore, the then Vice President.

According to Jacob, Eastman initially believed that the Vice President had no power to change the election outcome. Pence’s legal adviser even told Trump that if he tried to assume those powers over the election result, the matter would go to the Supreme Court and he would lose 9–0, meaning the justices would dismiss it unanimously. . According to his account, Eastman first stated that he thought he would only lose 7–2 and then admitted that yes, the chances of 9–0 were high. Importantly, it shows that you knew what you were asking for was illegal.

When Eastman testified before commission members, he invoked the Fifth Amendment 146 times, the right not to testify against himself, not to answer. The commission showed an email asking Jacobs to investigate “a relatively minor violation of federal law.” Eastman also sent a message to Rudy Giuliani, asking him to put him on a list of presidential pardons that Trump had already approved in the case before leaving office.

Despite knowing that what they were asking for was illegal, both he and Trump kept insisting. “The president held onto a dangerous principle and didn’t let go because he believed it would keep him in office,” Pete Aguilar said.

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