Storm on the Capitol: Mike Pence refused to run

IIn the committee of inquiry into the attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, witnesses revealed new details about the chaotic hours of that day. Greg Jacob, a former adviser to then-US Vice President Mike Pence, described at a public hearing on Thursday (local time) how Pence refused to leave the premises against his security forces despite the outbreak of violence at Congress. .

“There was no way the vice president wanted to risk the world seeing the US vice president flee the US Capitol,” said Jacob, who was accompanying Pence at the time. His boss was determined to complete certification of the presidential election results. He considered it an “constitutional duty” to end it. Pence therefore remained in a safe place on the Capitol premises for hours and later returned to the Senate Room.

Trump didn’t ask

Asked if President Donald Trump had ever called Pence to ask if he was safe, Jacob said, “He wasn’t.” Pence was “frustrated.”

Several witnesses also described an excited phone call between Trump and Penc that morning, during which the then president used several insults.

Trump’s supporters stormed the seat of parliament on January 6, 2021. The US Congress met there to formally confirm the election victory of Trump’s Democratic challenger, Joe Biden. The violent crowd wanted to prevent it. In his role as vice president, Pence chaired a key session of Congress. After dozens of lawsuits against the election result failed, Trump Pence openly called for the procedure to be blocked.

Trump's speech is played as evidence before a committee of inquiry.

Trump’s speech is played as evidence before a committee of inquiry.

Build: AP / Susan Walsh

Shortly before Trump’s attack on the rally, he urged his supporters that his election victory had been stolen. He also explicitly provoked his supporters against Pence. At the time, they were looking for a vice president in the building, whom they identified as a traitor and threatened to hang him because he did not prevent Biden’s confirmation. The committee is working on an unprecedented outbreak of violence from that time.

constitutional crisis averted

In front of a committee of inquiry, retired federal judge J. Michael Luttig said Trump’s plan to use Pence to stay in power despite his election defeat could plunge the country into a “revolution” and “constitutional crisis.”

Controversial lawyer John Eastman submitted a memorandum to Trump, arguing that Pence, in his role as President of the Senate at a Congressional meeting, could reject national votes for allegations of fraud. Former Judge Luttig then advised Pence and denied the representation. The vice president eventually refused to torpedo confirmation of Biden’s election victory.

“There was no basis in the United States Constitution or in United States law for Mr. Eastman’s theory,” Luttig told the committee. “None.” Republican deputy chairman Liz Cheney spoke of the “nonsense theory.” “It was wrong and Dr. Eastman knew it was wrong. In other words, it was a lie. “

The committee also considered the testimony of then-White House lawyer Eric Herschmann. According to Eastman, the day after the Capitol attack, he said: “Get a damn good lawyer in criminal proceedings. You will need it. “

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