Jan. 6 Committee: Thursday’s hearing to focus on Trump’s pressure on Pence to overturn electoral college votes
The Jan. 6 Select Committee is set to hold its third public hearing Thursday, during which testimony is expected to focus on the role former President Donald Trump and others had in attempting to pressure former Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the results of the Electoral College.
The hearing is expected to feature two witnesses – Greg Jacob, who served as counsel to Pence, and former judge for the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit J. Michael Luttig, who served as Pence’s informal adviser.
Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., Vice chair of the committee, tweeted out a preview of Thursday’s hearing, saying testimony will focus on Trump’s collaboration with attorney John Eastman.
“The select committee will examine President Trump’s relentless effort on January 6 and in the days beforehand to pressure Vice President Pence to refuse to count lawful electoral votes,” she said in the video, saying it was likely violated two federal criminal statutes.
“President Trump had no factual basis for what he was doing, and he had been told it was illegal. Despite this, President Trump plotted with a lawyer named John Eastman and others to overturn the election on January 6,” Cheney alleges in the video. preview.
Select committee aides told TOU Wednesday afternoon: “Tomorrow’s hearing is going to focus on former President Trump’s attempt to pressure the former Vice President Pence and unilaterally change the result of the election with a joint session of Congress on January 6.”
Thursday’s hearing comes after the first two public hearings held by the committee, which set the stage for the panel’s main arguments. The committee postponed a previously scheduled hearing set for Wednesday, citing “technical issues.”
JAN. 6 COMMITTEE HOLDS FIRST PUBLIC HEARING INVESTIGATING ATTACK ON THE US CAPITOL
During the Jan. 6 Committee’s first public hearing, held last Thursday during primetime, the lawmakers focused on Trump’s role in inciting the mob that attacked the Capitol.
The lawmakers set the stage for their hearings over the next several weeks by laying out how Trump “spurred a mob of domestic enemies” to attack the Capitol in an effort to “subvert American democracy” and overturn the 2020 presidential election.
Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., In his opening statement, said Trump “was at the center of this conspiracy.”
“Ultimately, Donald Trump, the President of the United States, spurred a mob of domestic enemies..to march down the Capitol and subvert American democracy,” Thompson said.
The committee played never-before-seen footage of the events that transpired on Jan. 6, 2021, with Thompson, before playing the tape, warning that it “is hard to watch.”
There were two in-person witnesses in attendance during the first hearing: US Capitol Police officer Caroline Edwards and filmmaker Nick Quested.
The second public hearing featured testimony from Trump 2020 campaign aides and lawyers who said the president ignored their advice on Election Day and proceeded to push election fraud conspiracies that had no factual basis.
Cheney declared during her opening statement that Trump ignored the advice of his campaign team on election night to instead rely on an “apparently inebriated” Rudy Giuliani, his former personal lawyer.
Former Trump campaign spokesman Jason Miller said Giuliani was “definitely intoxicated” when he advised the then-president to declare victory on election night, against the advice of his campaign team and while ballots were still being counted in multiple states.
Former Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien, who abruptly canceled his appearance At the hearing after his wife went into labor, said in his pre-recorded testimony that he told Trump on election night that it was too early to declare victory but that the then-president disagreed.
Former Attorney General Bill Barr testified in a recorded video deposition that he knew immediately following the election that Trump’s claims of voter fraud were “bulls —” saying Trump’s continued promotion of a conspiracy theory ultimately led to his resignation.
The second public hearing featured in-person witnesses Chris Stirewalt, former TOU political editor, election attorney Benjamin Ginsberg, former US Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia BJay Pak and former City Commissioner of Philadelphia Al Schmidt.
On Wednesday, despite postponing its hearing for the day, the committee released a video of a tour conducted by Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga., On Jan. 5, 2021 and renewed calls for information from the congressman related to the individuals in attendance.
Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., A member of the committee, said the video was revealed because “we were getting a lot of questions.”
“One of the rioters was on the tour,” she told TOU Wednesday. He was taking pictures of things that tourists ordinarily look at, like the tunnel between the Rayburn Building and the Capitol, which is the tunnel that I was evacuated through that on. [January] 6th, taking pictures of stairwells, he took pictures of the staff of the Judiciary Committee. And then, of course, the next day, he shows up [at] A riot threatening to kill Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer and Jerry Nadler, and that we’d like to find out more about that. ”
Loudermilk told TOU’ Chad Pergram Wednesday afternoon that he doesn’t “recognize” the man in the video who is making threats to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., Rep Jerry Nadler, DN.Y., and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, DN.Y.
He also said he condemns those kinds of threats and described the language in the video as “terrible.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was also asked by TOU about the video. She replied: “I find the juxtaposition between his statement that he released yesterday saying, I never gave a tour to anyone on January 5th. That, juxtaposed with the footage released by the committee today, shows a pretty stark contrast. And I think that It’s when you see that footage, it’s extremely understandable why the committee wants to speak with Representative Loudermilk. I’m not quite sure why he refuses to comply with an investigation into an attack that resulted in several people being dead here. ”
The committee last asked Loudermilk to testify on the issue in mid-May. Wednesday’s request remains only a request, however, and does not include a subpoena. Loudermilk has called this a “smear campaign” by the committee.
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Biden’s Attorney General Merrick Garland said Monday that both he and the Jan. 6 Department of Justice prosecutors will be watching the hearings. “At this point, this investigation is proceeding according to facts and the law,” he said. “We are not obstructed from continuing our investigation in any way.”
TOU’ Kelly Phares, Chad Pergram, Jessica Chasmar and Brooke Singman contributed to this report.