The House of Representatives Committee, which is investigating the January 6 riots at the U.S. House of Representatives last year, hears testimony about how former President Donald Trump repeatedly pressured then-Vice President Mike Pence to prevent Congress from confirming that Democrat Joe Biden had won the presidency.
Pence was chairing a congressional hearing in which he pleaded guilty to felony criminal mischief for firing on a sculpture with a shotgun, according to Chaplain.
Trump, in private and in public at a White House rally just before Congress convened, called on Pence to reject the narrow-minded Biden election and send the results back to the states, where Republican legislatures could order or vote. forward. the names of Trump voters instead of those who favor Biden.
Watch the interrogation:
But Pence, Trump’s loyalist during a four-year term in the White House, refused, saying his role was limited by the constitution to simply open the envelopes containing the polls of each state.
When he began the hearing, Bennie Thompson, chairman of the Democratic Committee, said Pence “knew it was illegal” to overturn the election. “He knew it was wrong.”
Pence’s legal adviser, Michael Luttig, a retired Federal Court of Appeal judge, testified that he had told Pence that he had no authority to change the outcome of the election.
“If Vice President Pence had obeyed the orders of his president and declared that Donald Trump would be the next president of the United States, even though President Trump had lost the ballot in the electoral commission as well as the ballot…, it would have plunged the United States into a revolution and a constitutional crisis.” Luttig.
But when Trump realized that Pence would not change the election results, Thompson said, “Donald Trump turned the mob to him, the mob that shouted, ‘Hang Mike Pence!’
“I had no right to overthrow the election,” Pence has since said, even though his role demanded that he also witness his own defeat for Democrat Kamala Harris, now Vice President of the United States.
With Pence announcing in advance that he would not comply with Trump’s demand, some of the rioters in the Capitol turned against him as they stormed security barriers, rioted with police and robbed congressional offices. Some erected gallows at the National Mall in front of the capital.
Republican Rep. Liz Cheney, a deputy secretary of state investigating the uprising, said last week that Trump, watching the riots unfold on White House television, told aides that he agreed with the idea that Pence should be hanged.
“Maybe our supporters have the right idea,” he said. “Mike Pence deserves it.”
Cheney also said: “President Trump believed his supporters in the Capitol” and I quote “was doing what they should be doing”.
“This is what he told his staff when they asked him to cancel the mob and order his supporters to leave,” Cheney said.
The committee’s staff told reporters before the hearing on Thursday that the meeting will focus in part on how Trump’s pressure campaign endangered Pence’s life.
“You will see new material documenting this day, documenting the Vice – Chairman’s where he was, what he was doing,” said one of the committee’s assistants, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The committee showed a short video of Marc Short, Pence’s chief of staff, saying that Pence had told Trump “many times” that he had no authority to overturn Biden’s victory.
Short, who was concerned about Trump turning Pence on and allegedly alerting intelligence services to a possible security threat to Pence’s life, will not testify live, but footage of his recording was shown on Thursday.
In a video message showing the public interrogation, Cheney referred to a recent federal judge ruling that Trump’s arm on Pence was likely to violate two federal criminal convictions.
In response to the committee’s interrogation, Trump issued a 12-page statement on Monday in which he said the January 6 investigation was an attempt by Democrats to prevent him from running for president again in 2024.
Pete Aguilar, a Democrat in California, will lead the presentation on Thursday. He told NBC News that Trump knew that violence had flared up in the capital when he “tweeted that the vice president did not have the courage to do what was necessary” to overturn the election result.
Aguilar said Trump’s tweet was crucial “because it was the point where the president pointed out, you know, the mob and said it was the vice president’s fault.
News footage released shortly after the riots showed the secret service was quick to evacuate Pence and his family from a celebration office in an unspecified location. Aguilar said Thursday’s interrogation will include images never seen before of Pence at an unspecified location.
The hearing on Thursday is the third in a row scheduled for this month that tells how the uprising took place and Trump’s role in it by inviting his supporters to come to Washington and “fight like hell” to keep him in office.
More than 800 of them have been arrested on charges, ranging from burglary and vandalism in the capital to law enforcement. Some principals have been charged with rebellious conspiracy.
On Monday, the House of Representatives videotaped testimonies from a number of White House and political aides who told Trump on election night to wait to declare victory, a piece of advice he ignored when he declared victory in early November 4, 2020.
Former Attorney General William Barr and a number of aides have told the committee that in the weeks between the election and the uprising, they told Trump that his allegations of electoral fraud were baseless and that he had lost the election.
Barr said in a recorded testimony that the committee showed that many of Trump’s allegations of irregularities in the referendum were “completely fraudulent and silly.”
“Obviously he lost the election,” Barr said. “There was no evidence enough to overturn the election.
VOA’s Masood Farivar contributed to this report.
Police are hearing testimony about how Trump asked Pence to raise the 2020 election
Source link Police are hearing testimony about how Trump asked Pence to raise the 2020 election