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Saturday, July 2, 2022

Lawmakers listen to testimony about how Trump inspired Pence to push for 2020 election

A panel of House lawmakers investigating last year’s January 6 riots at the US Capitol is hearing testimony from how former President Donald Trump repeatedly pressured then-Vice President Mike Pence to stop Congress from certifying put that Democrat Joe Biden had won the presidency.

Pence was presiding over Congress as legislators were in the early stages of a state-by-state count of state-by-state votes to verify Biden’s victory, when nearly 2,000 Trump supporters gathered at the Capitol to disrupt proceedings. stormed.

Trump, privately and publicly at a rally near the White House just before being called by Congress, implored Pence to reject electoral counts from states where Biden narrowly won and consider the results to those states. where the Republican-controlled legislature could order or submit another election. Names of Trump voters to replace those who favor Biden.

Watch the hearing:

But Pence, a Trump loyalist during his four years in the White House, refused, saying his role was limited by the Constitution, to open the envelope containing the counting of the Electoral College votes from each state.

As he opened the hearing, Democratic Committee Chairman Benny Thompson said Pence knew “it was illegal” to overturn the election. “He knew it was wrong.”

Retired Conservative Federal Appellate Court Judge Michael Lutig, a Pence legal adviser, testified that he had advised Pence that he had no authority to magnify the election result.

“If Vice President Pence follows his presidential orders and declares Donald Trump the next President of the United States, even if President Trump loses the Electoral College vote as well as the popular vote … a revolution and a constitutional crisis.” It’s like that,” Luttig said.

Greg Jacobs, who was attorney for former Vice President Mike Pence, left, and Michael Lutig, a retired federal judge, are sworn in to testify as the House Select Committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol is hearing. Capitol in Washington, June 16, 2022.

But as Trump felt Pence would not influence the election results, Thompson said, “Donald Trump turned the crowd on him, the crowd that said, ‘Hang on to Mike Pence!

Pence has since said, “I had no right to reverse the election, even though his role required him to certify his defeat to Democrat Kamala Harris, now the US vice president.

After Pence announced ahead of time that he would not accept Trump’s demand, some rioters in the Capitol turned against him as he stormed past security barriers, scuffled with police and ransacked congressional offices. Some people hanged themselves on the National Mall in view of the Capitol.

Republican Representative Liz Cheney, an outspoken anti-Trump vice president of the House of Representatives investigating the rebellion, said last week that Trump was watching the devastation on television from the White House, telling aides she agreed with the idea. That Pence should be. hanged

“Maybe our supporters have the right idea,” he reportedly said. “Mike Pence deserves it.”

Cheney also said, “President Trump believed his supporters at the Capitol … and I quote, ‘Were doing what he should be doing.'”

“This is exactly what he told his staff,” Cheney said, as he requested them to call the crowd back, instructing their supporters to leave.

Briefing reporters ahead of Thursday’s hearing, committee staff said the session would focus on how Trump’s pressure campaign put Pence’s life at risk.

“You’ll see new material documented that day, documenting where the vice president was, what he was doing,” an aide on the committee said on condition of anonymity.

The committee showed a brief video clip of Mark Short, who served as Pence’s chief of staff, saying that Pence had told Trump “multiple times” that he did not have the authority to reverse Biden’s victory.

Short, who was concerned about Trump turning on Pence and reportedly alerted the Secret Service to a potential security threat to Pence’s life, would not testify live, but he was videotaped during Thursday’s hearing. The clip of the statement made was circulated.

In a video message previewing the public hearing, Cheney cited a federal judge’s recent ruling that Trump’s hand-twisting of Pence was likely to violate two federal criminal statutes.

In response to the committee hearing, Trump issued a 12-page statement on Monday calling the January 6 investigation an attempt by Democrats to prevent him from running for president again in 2024.

Democratic Congressman Pete Aguilar of California will lead Thursday’s presentation. He told NBC News that Trump knew violence had erupted at the Capitol when he tweeted that the “vice president didn’t have the courage to do what was necessary” to reverse the election result.

Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-California, Speaks As The House Select Committee Investigating The January 6, 2021, Capitol Attack Hearings At The Capitol In Washington, June 16, 2022.

Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-California, speaks as the House Select Committee investigating the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack hearings at the Capitol in Washington, June 16, 2022.

Aguilar said Trump’s tweet was important “because that’s the point the president pointed to, you know, to the crowd and said it was the vice president’s fault.”

News footage aired shortly after the riots showed the Secret Service moving quickly to escort Pence and his family from the formal office to an undisclosed location. Aguilar said Thursday’s hearing will include never-before-seen photos of Pence at an undisclosed location.

Thursday’s hearing is the third in a series scheduled for this month that details how the rebellion happened and Trump’s role by inviting his supporters to come to Washington and put him in office to “fight like hell.”

More than 800 of them have been arrested on charges ranging from breaking into and vandalizing the Capitol to attacking the police. Some of the gangsters have been accused of conspiracy to treason.

On Monday, a House panel showed videotaped testimony from several White House and political aides asking Trump to stop declaring victory on election night, when he did so in the early hours of November 4, 2020. Declared victory, then ignored the advice.

Former Attorney General William Barr and several aides have told the committee that in the weeks between the election and the rebellion, they told Trump that his election fraud claims were unfounded and that he had lost the election.

Barr said in tape testimony broadcast by the committee that many of Trump’s claims of voting irregularities were “completely bogus and foolish.”

“Obviously, he lost the election,” Barr said. “There was zero basis for enough evidence to reverse the election.”

VOA’s Masood Farivar contributed to this report.

This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

World Nation News Desk
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