WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) — The commission investigating the storming of the US Capitol focused Thursday on Donald Trump’s latest attempt to claim victory in the 2020 election, pressuring Vice President Mike Pence to set precedent. Historic and rejected the official counting of votes, moments before the 6 January 2021 uprising.
On Thursday, along with two witnesses, including Pence’s lawyer, the House panel was set to show how Trump’s lies about the alleged rigging left him looking for alternatives as courts scuttled those challenging the vote. Dozens of lawsuits were dismissed.
Trump stuck to the dark plan of conservative law professor John Eastman and launched a campaign of public and private pressure on Pence before leading a joint session of Congress on January 6 that would testify to Joe Biden’s election victory. A federal judge has said it is “highly unlikely” that Trump committed crimes in his attempt to withhold certification.
The chairman of the committee, Democratic Rep. Benny Thompson, began the hearing by citing Pence’s own words that there was “hardly a non-American idea” of what he was asked to do: reject the vote.
“Trump wanted Mike Pence to do something no other vice president had ever done,” Thompson said. “Our democracy has come dangerously close to catastrophe.”
The panel will hear from the vice president’s attorney, Greg Jacob, who rejected Eastman’s ideas for Pence to complete the plan, as well as retired federal judge Michael Lutig, who called the plan “wrong” by Eastman, his former law clerk. was. all the time”.
Thompson said Thursday that the panel would ask Virginia “Ginny” Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, for an interview amid revelations of communications between a staunch right-wing activist and Trump advisers prior to the attack. He did not specify any time for this.
“It’s time for him to speak,” Thompson told reporters before the hearing.
Thursday’s session is expected to release new evidence about Pence’s threat as crowds stormed the Capitol and chanted “Hang Mike Pence!” While a temporary gallows was hanging outside the Capitol. The Vice President had to run with the senators to hide. The rebellion and its aftermath killed nine people.
Associated Press writers Kevin Freking and Eric Tucker in Washington and Farnoush Amiri in Los Angeles contributed to this report.