Former Vice President Mike Pence, thrust into a vital position for democracy, selected the Constitution over then-President Donald Trump on Jan. 6, 2021, as per the House committee examining the Capitol insurgency that day.
The committee and its witnesses revealed how Trump used public and private influence to prevent Pence from declaring the 2020 election results in vivid detail on Thursday. Even after Trump’s own legal counsel recognized the plan was illegal in front of him, he increased the pressure.
The endeavor resulted in a “tense” phone discussion between the two men on Jan. 6 and an insurgency later that day, putting Pence and, according to the panel, American democracy, in grave jeopardy.
Pence was unaffected by anything.
He showed that the republic’s guardrails sometimes can shrink to the size of one person by executing one of the few defined constitutional duties of a vice president – monitoring the counting of electoral votes in a joint session of Congress. According to committee members, Pence became that person by declining to buckle in the face of criticism and threats.
Before trying to cast his vote, panel Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said, “Donald Trump would want Mike Pence doing something no other vice president has ever done: the former president wanted Pence to dismiss the votes and then either proclaim Trump the winner or sent the votes back to the states to be tallied again against his longtime political adversary, in the role of democracy’s champion.
Thompson said, “Mike Pence said no.” “He defiantly defiantly defiantly defiantly de He was well aware that it was against the law. He was well aware that what he was doing was incorrect.”
Despite the fact that Trump is the focus of the committee’s inquiry, Pence was the star of Thursday’s session. In his absence, the Democratic-dominated panel praised him, making the conservative stalwart — widely anticipated to run for president in 2024 — into an odd hero for their partisanship. Despite the fact that the elements of Pence’s story were already known, it is a crucial element of the committee’s efforts to show that Trump used unlawful and anti-democratic measures to stay in power.
Furthermore, the panel claims that Trump was aware — or had been advised — that he had lost an election, that he was unable to overturn the results through lawful means, and that Pence lacked constitutional power to meddle with the democratic process.
None of this deterred Trump from clinging to power, or from accusing Pence of being a traitor.
Lawyer John Eastman began promoting a proposal to have Pence refuse to recognize electors in the weeks that followed the 2020 election, while Trump searched for ways to overturn the result. As per eyewitnesses who appeared before the Jan. 6 panel, Trump became fascinated by the notion despite White House lawyers — including Eastman himself — telling him it was ridiculous.
Pence’s lawyer Greg Jacob and former Circuit Court Judge J. Michael Luttig testified before the panel on Thursday, following a small group of witnesses who had previously testified.
On January 4, Eastman notified Trump that the proposal was illegal, according to Jacob. Eastman continued to urge for Pence’s execution days later, according to Jacob.
A Trump White House lawyer, Eric Herschmann, indicated in another clip that he had addressed the plan’s potential dangers with Eastman.
“I told you that you’re going to start rioting in the streets,” Herschmann recounted. “And he responded something to the effect of, ‘There has been brutality in our country’s history, Eric, to safeguard democracy or the republic.’ “
As per witness evidence, both proponents and detractors of Eastman’s plan for Pence to rig the nomination discussed and predicted, and made threats.
Pence concentrated on what he saw as his obligation to the Constitution and the American people as he planned a public speech explaining why he would verify the electoral votes, Jacob said.
“In recorded evidence, the vice president said, ‘This may be the most significant thing I ever say,'” Jacob added.
When Pence was first informed of the proposal in early December 2020, Jacob testified that it was his “first impulse” to reject the notion that one man — the vice president — could override the choice of people.
When all other options had been explored in the days and hours leading up to the election, Trump increased his pressure on Pence. This included berating Pence during a phone call on January 6th.
As per Julie Radford, a former chief of staff to Ivanka Trump, Trump was enraged that his vice president continued to contradict him and dubbed Pence “the ‘p-word.”
Several members of the family and key aides were there in the Oval Office with Trump throughout the call, including the younger Trump. Pence was around two miles away at the US Naval Observatory, where he was staying as vice president.
Ivanka Trump testified that the conversation became “very heated” and that her father used a “different tone” than he had with Pence previously.
But that wasn’t the entire story. Trump pushed Pence to tamper with the electoral vote tally at a “Stop the Steal” event shortly afterward and then told his followers to walk in the Capitol. Representatives of right-wing extremist groups already were present at the Capitol, as the panel had previously stated.
Under questioning from Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., the committee’s vice-chair, Luttig, a famous conservative legal expert, warned that obeying Trump’s order would have “dived America into what I think would have been equivalent to a rebellion within a major crisis.”
Pence stayed firm, but Trump fans stormed the Capitol, disrupting the ballot-counting process.
Within the building, Pence narrowly dodged a brawl with demonstrators, some of whom demanded that he be killed for Trump’s betrayal. They were only 40 feet away from the man who was first in line for the presidency. Despite the fact that Pence’s safety was in jeopardy, Trump chastised his vice president.
In the exclusive interview with NBC News, Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., a panel member who will take a significant part in Thursday’s hearing, said, “He [Trump] knew there was brutality and he still tweeted the vice president didn’t have the fortitude to do what was needed.”
Pence has decided to capitalize on his Jan. 6 acts in constructing a possible presidential campaign, while being despised by Trump’s political base. In public speeches, he has criticized Trump in the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire.
Pence gave a succinct explanation to the conservative Federalist Society in Orlando in February.
Pence stated, “I heard this week that President Trump claimed I had the right to overturn the election.” “President Trump is completely incorrect.”
The meeting on Thursday was the third of seven public sessions scheduled by the committee.
Also Read: What Did Biden Say On Buffalo Incident?