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tv   Attack on Democracy The January 6th Hearings  CNN  June 16, 2022 9:00am-1:00pm PDT

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i'm wolf blitzer in washington. >> i'm jake tapper. when the hearing begins approximately an hour from now, the panel will lay out, they say, evidence of then president trump's relentless push for then vice president pence to refuse to count lawful, legal electoral votes. they will argue that trump put the vice president's life in danger. evenen as pence aides warned that trump's demand was illegal and unconstitutional. committee aides say pence's former chief legal counsel will testify live. jacob is one of the key figures who helped convince the vice president at the time that he had no authority to single handed lid throw out election results. jay michael lewd ig held a similar view and is said to appear live before the committee. he will condemn not only what happened january 6th but the larger war that trump is waging on democracy in his view. we expect the panel to show
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recorded testimony by former pence chief of staff mark short who was with vice president pence an january 6th. was a firsthand witness to trump's pressure campaign in the days leading up to it. we're told house investigators will try to make the case that the pressure on pence directly distributed to the insurrection at the capitol and the continuing ongoing threat to the rule of law and democracy in the united states. many aides are promising new information about what the vice president was doing during the riot, and where he was hiding as that mob chanted, hang mike pence, hang mike pence. the panel also will focus on the role of conservative lawyer john eastman in pushing the bo fgus unconstitutional theory that pence has the power to invalidate legal, lawful e electoral votes. let's go to ryan nobles on capitol hill right now.
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ryan, the chairman of the select committee congressman bennie thompson of mississippi just chaired a block buster new information about a potential witness that he wants to call to testify. tell us more. >> yeah. that's right. and that is virginia thomas, the wife of sitting supreme court justice clarence thomas, and we've known for some time the committee has been in possession of communication between thomas and some of the people involved in the effort to overturn the results. among them mark meadows. the new development in the last 12 hours is we've learned the committee is also in possession of email exchanges between thomas and john eastman who is, of course, going to feature in a very big way, in today's hearing. he's the conservative lawyer who was behind the legal theories that laid out the plan to have the former vice president mike pence stand in the way of the certification of the election. and thomas telling reporters today that -- thompson, i should say, is telling reporters he
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does believe it is time for jenny thomas to come before the committee and speak to them about what she knows. it doesn't seem as though they're considering him as a live witness at this point. this is more likely a closed door deposition that will take place in the future. thompson told reporters he wants it to happen soon. jake, how that applies to today's hearing is i'm told it is unlikely that jenny thomas will be brought up as a topic in today's hearings, despite the connection that was just discovered to john eastman. the emails the committee is in possession of were part of a court battle. the emails have been slowly trickling into the committee. they were able to get them into their possession relatively soon. not enough time to make them part of today's hearings. but it seems as though the committee is ready to turn a bit of the focus of the investigation into the wife of a sitting supreme court justice. >> ryan, thank you so much. shocking news. manu is on capitol hill today.
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manu, you're learning about the video testimony that the panel will share today that they feel is dramatic and will be effective. tell us more. >> yeah. yeah. they're trying to show that donald trump's actions and words contributed directly to the potential violence that mike pence faced on january 6th. i am told that they have video testimony of the rioters who breached this building, who were directing anger at mike pence and who believe they were acting at donald trump's direction. now, we have seen through the course of these hearings so far, they have had some witness testimony from those rioters who were part of the more than thousands of witnesses the committee has interviewed. they also have rioters that content donald trump was the reason they were in the building trying to find mike pence was because of what donald trump said. now, you mentioned mark short. he's the former pence chief of staff, expected to feature prominently in this hearing via video, even though he will not be a live witness. we've learned that reportedly he
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was concerned too of mike pence's safety, raised concerns about pence being in danger, so we'll see how that comes out today. but undoubtedly, the committee is trying to make a direct link between donald trump's words and the danger mike pence feared that -- faced that day and try to put it in the middle of that, the rioter's video testimony from the rioters drawing a connection between the events. >> all right. manu, thank you so much. i want to get to that stunning news that ryan gave us, but before i go, jamny, i know you have some reporting on the information that -- the testimony that jay michael l lewdig is going to give. >> his statement which cnn obtained exclusively is a bomb shell. even though he may not be a household name, he is an icon in legal conservative circles. he is a conservative's conservative. this statement shows in effect that he is standing shoulder to shoulder with liz cheney.
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it is a full-throated condemnation of both donald trump and the republicans who have supported him. and just to read you one part, he holds trump responsible. he uses the word instigated. and he goes onto say january 6th was, quote, the execution of a well-developed plan by the former president to overturn the 2020 presidential election at any cost so that he could cling to power that the american people had decided to confer upon his successor. and just as a reminder, john eastman, a part of that, is his former law clerk. >> yeah. and while we're talking about what we just learned, john king, let me go to you. jenny thomas, the wife of supreme court justice clarence thomas, has long-been known as a very conservative activist, and if you follow her facebook feed, you'll see that she dabbles in
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some of the more unhinged means and allegations out there and has been for some time. but the idea that she played a role in trying to get people to come to the capitol on january 6th, but also in the larger plot to undo a democratic election is staggering, given the -- especially given the fact that her husband was voting on relevant cases. >> staggering for a number of reasons. look, she has every right to have her political views but she also has to understand what her husband does for a living. the question is what was she involved in. two, will the supreme court ever develop a public transparent set of ethics standards. let's focus on her. she was a tea party activist. she used to work on capitol hill among house republicans. she's been pushing this. you could tell from the mark meadows' texts and now emails with john eastman, that she was saying be more aggressive. do more. push. trying to get them to be more aggressive to challenge the election. so you have her role, number one.
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it shows you that every time somebody normal said no to donald trump, he kept looking for other people to help him. he kept looking. every time he was defeated in the recounts and in courts and people on his own team, he kept looking for somebody else. it's john eastman with the help of jenny thomas. that's one big question, her role. it gets into the idea that as the judge says, this attack on democracy to reboot this, to recreate the faith in the institution, you need transparency. what does clarence thomas know? there are decisions that could come his way. do you need clear rules for the court? he may say i have nothing to do with that. that's fine. some of the decisions will come their way. the american people deserve to know. >> in that group of texts revealed by jamie on mark meadows' phone, you have jenny thomas saying how mad she issed a vice president pence.
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so she is -- she is communicating with the white house chief of staff, taking a side on this issue, saying she's mad at pence because he's not doing the right thing, and here she is. knowing full well you have to believe that. knowing full well that this is something that could wind up before the supreme court. knowing full well what her -- >> right. and did. >> clarence thomas didn't recuse himself. >> and he did not -- right. so she's texting about the vice president. that's remarkable. >> and it isn't just that they wanted it to appear before the supreme court. according to the reporting that's been coming out about eastman's emails, the plan was to create an environment in which the court would be forced to rule on this issue. so the court was at the heart of the plan here. they wanted to create according to these emails, a wild environment on january 6th that would force the court's hand, so it's not incidental to the whole
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thing that maybe they hoped clarence thomas would raise his hand. they wanted to make sure that the court had no choice. >> and on that point, what you're talking about maggie h haberman has reported on, about the reporting, but one of the things that she discloses in her new york times report is the fact that some of these fringe lawyers who were in the fringe at that point because they had access to the president of the united states, but john eastman and this other gentleman, cheesebro. >> from wisconsin? >> yes. that they were talking about insights that they supposedly had into fierce fights going on in the u.s. supreme court. now, look, i have no idea where they got that information from. but if a supreme court spouse is out there doing things and i think it's fair to say were irresponsible and inappropriate for anyone, let alone a supreme court spouse, you have to ask,
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well, if she was part of their plot, was she the one -- >> and the committee has to look into that. >> there's also a meadows' text message where jenny thomas says my best friend. friends of the thomass say it's exactly how they refer to each other. i know someone who has known them for 40 years who says there is no daylight between them. >> so she was referring to my best friend, says such and such? >> yes. >> interesting. we have more ahead. we're going to talk to maggie haberman about her new reporting that cheesebro and eastman hope to convince the supreme court there would be chaos on january 6th. that they did not weigh in on the election before then. stay with us.
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. we're awaiting the start of the hearing by the january ofth committee. the primary focus is on then president trump's attempts to focus on pence's refuse to recount votes in the attempt to overturn the election. there is new information on communications between pro trump lawyers pushing for the supreme court to hear arguments about the president's bid to overturn his election defeat. we're joined right now by "the new york times" maggie haberman. maggie, tell us about your new reporting. it's very significant. >> wolf, thank you so much. my colleague and i discovered there are emails that existed on december 24th.
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christmas eve of 2020, five days after president trump at the time tweeted be there, we'll be wild about his quote, unquote, protest on january 6th. in the emails john eastman was working prurch, suggested he had insight into a heated fight that was going on among justices about whether to hear cases related to the election. now, again, not clear at all what he was basing that on, if he had any information at all. from there, another lawyer ken cheesebro from wisconsin said it would be good with the justices had a fear of wild chaos taking place on january 6th to try to get them to hear the argument. they were talking about creating pressure on the justices and eastman making the claim of no idea whether he had information or not, he's a former clerk to justice thomas, claim heg had some visibility into what the court was discussing. >> how much of this do you think we could expect to hear in the hearings today?
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>> i do think john eastman is going to be a factor in the hearings today because he was a big part of the pressure campaign against mike pence culminating in the key meeting on january 6th between eastman, pence, and the former chief counsel. eastman will be a star figure. >> all right. i want to discuss all this. thank you very much. we'll get back to you. george, what do you make of the developments? significant what we heard from maggie. >> before i say what i think, i'm going to point out that i think that john eastman is appalling. his emails here that are described are just incredibly objectionable. that he should be disbarred and prosecuted. all that said, i think he's full of it here with this. because if you remember and go back to the kranology of what
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had happened in the supreme court before december 24th, the date of the emails, basically all litigation that could have mattered was done. the supreme court had rejected the crazy texas case that attorney general paxton brought. it denied an application for emergency release in the pennsylvania case that presented the closest thing they might have had to a legal issue. there was really nothing of any significance at the court at the time. maybe they had something cooking up, but that's the reason why we ended up with the desperate attempt to stop physically stop the counting of electoral votes on january 6th. because they had basically run out of options. >> supreme court didn't want to hear the arguments? >> they didn't give them the time of day. i just have to say, i think this just is another -- i mean, john eastman is a man with very little credibility. i think he was blowing smoke in
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some of the emails. the content is appalling to suggest that the supreme court is -- that people should riot to intimidate the supreme court and get it to act is just insane. >> well, i think what's interesting is the first day of the hearings, liz cheney pointed out and made much adieu about the notion that even john eastman did not believe in the memo that he ultimately sent over to mike pence. the notion of being sort of a blow hard about the issues. certainly it's not novel, but what is striking to me in particular is the idea that they were hoping to motivate the supreme court of the united states, not by the law not by the constitution, because there was nothing there to support it, but motivated by fear. think about the backdrop right now where you have a supreme court justice who had an assassination attempt a week or more ago. you have a new legislative act trying to protect the justices because there is the perception that people in some way react viscerally and violently to rulings. here they believe that was going to be a catalyst for what they
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wanted to happen. that really speaks volumes. and it's so striking given where we are right now. >> and what do you make of this announcement from the chairman of this select committee that they're going to invite, ask jenny thomas, the wife of the supreme court justice clarence thomas to come and answer questions? >> well, it was headed this way. i mean, these -- the fact that she chose to involve herself in this, in this appalling attempt to overturn an election, you know, it was deeply a problem for her husband. deeply problematic for the supreme court, and the more that comes out that she was doing it, even if she was throwing stuff in from the peanut gallery, it raises too many questions that deserve answers>> we should point out thomas, we now know was involved in emails, sending emails to the chief of staff, to the president, mark meadows, to
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arizona legislators saying file an alternate slate of electors, and now to john eastman who was pushing this theory that mike pence had the ability to actually rule on the validity of some of the electors in january 6th. i mean, the constitution, the 12th amendment of the constitution and the 1887 electoral act are very clear that the vice president's function at the january 6th is to basically open the envelope and preside side over the counting of the electors. i mean, the last thing that the founders ever would have dreamed of is the idea that the vice president that's relatively minor figure in the government, was going to be able to rule on the validity or not of the slates of electorals that the states were sending. so the idea that was having advanced by eastman and trump was that no, the vice president can sit there and say well, the
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arizona slate that is voting for joe biden, because he won the state, we're going to rule that out. we'll send it back to the state, or maybe there won't be enough, 270 electoral votes, and then we'll have the states each vote in separate delegation for who the president should be. this is what pence said in a speech is the idea that any single person can overturn the will of millions of americans is un-american. >> there's efforts underway to reform it. there's even people who are talking about what needs to be done so that this is not a place of vulnerability in terms of the transfer of power. and to step back a little more broadly. trump has a track record of using investigative -- the investigations to validate his own claims. whether it's comey or zelenskyy or now what we're hearing what happened with eastman and the
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justice department, the idea is you say you're investigating. we'll take care of the rest. there's a reason the committee is underscoring what happened in the justice department, and i think it's worth pointing out. it's going to feel like a billion names come agent you watching this today. you'll be like why do i care about this lawyer or that lawyer. they're trying to show if the president knew he couldn't accomplish what he wanted, what are the other levers to try to validate that in the public's mind? yesterday i had a chance to interview mike pence's former white house chief of staff mark short. we're expecting to hear from him at the hearing about the concerns that he raised on january 5th about the vice president's security. listen to this. >> you spoke to the secret
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service? what was your point? >> the point it became clear the disagreements that had been discussed, i think -- >> between the president and the vice president? >> and the staffs were about to become more public. i think if thousands of people descending upon washington with hopes of a different outcome, i thought it was important that they be alerted to that. >> you were concerned about the security? >> well, i mean, i wouldn't have said something otherwise. right? >> and i want to be specific. you were concerned about the vice president's security because of what the president was saying? >> because it was about to become a more public occasion, and i knew the president was about to express that in a more public manner thaim not sure the consequence of that were thought through by people around the president with thousands of people coming to washington. >> and remember, he was concerned about the vice president's security. he was afraid of what was going to happen. this is before we saw the gallows that were built on capitol hill and hang mike pence, hang mike pence. those chants that developed.
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>> yeah. absolutely. and i think -- i mean, mike pence deserves a lot of credit for what he did that day. he obeyed his constitutional duty in spite of pressure from the president and the physical intimidation of the crowd. he knew what he had to co-and he did it. and it was a difficult thing for him to do in some sense because he kind of -- he submitted himself to the president for four years. it was a hard habit to break, i'm sure. but he understood that the constitution -- it was unquestionable what the constitution, the 12th amendment and the electoral count act provided and he stuck to the law. >> let's take a slightly wider look. what happens is that john eastman, the conservative lawyer, as the president isn't hearing what he wants from various members, he goes -- various parts of his mars, he gets contact with john eastman and eastman is presenting an idea that despite the 12th
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amendment of the constitution, despite the electoral count act that, in fact, pence has these enormous powers. pence goes to a variety, i think he knew on its face it was unconstitutional and illegal. but he goes to judge lewdig, a hero of the right. he goes to his own chief counsel, gregg jacob. he even goes to former vice president dan quail and says do i have this right? they say no. the reason mark short is concerned is because pence and trump have a series of meetings, and trump keeps telling pence, you got to do this. and pence says no, i'm not going to do it. and now mark short is worried that trump is going to as he did on january 6th, come out publicly against pence, and that's why he goes to pence's security -- secret service head of detail and says, we have to worry about this security of the vice president. >> which was smart on his part. >> right.
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and this is about interfering with lawful actions of the government, right? and the legal folks on the panel can talk about that. but i know it's not sexy, but it's important. this electoral count act. because this was such a place of vulnerability. this shopping around of lawyers to say hey, what actually should be the rules? what are not? now people are saying there are aspects of it that maybe are not constitutional. and i think what's interesting is you are going to see an effort to reform this law, and that is something people aren't talking about because we're focussed on the ratings of this thing and will there be charges? fundamentally, congress needs to get the house in order about how it conducts the ceremonial process in some aspect. serious in others. this has proven there can be trouble if someone wants it bad stuff. >> still ahead, two veteran pence insiders will share their insights into trump's pressure campaign against the then vice president of the united states.
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welcome back. we're closing in on another critical hearing in the january 6th investigation. the select house committee is preparing to make the case that the trump pressure campaign on then vice president mike pence directly contributed to the violent insurrection at the u.s. capitol. we're told there will be new information about pence's actions that day as his wife was being threatened by rioters --
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his life. it's escalating the already difficult tensions between trump and pence. kaitlyn collins is digging on this issue. what are you hearing about the trump/pence relationship? >> it's still incredibly tense, but also it's almost kind of nonexistent, because we're told it's been over a year now since trump and pence have actually spoken. it's quite remarkable for those of us who covered the trump white house given how often they were not only together, lunching once a week but speaking frequently. the former president makes a lot of phone calls. i'm told it's been over a year since trump and pence have spoken. it shows how much the relationship was basically perm n innocently tfrayed on january 6th. your going to see that. it's going to be the full role pence played on january 6th, 2020. not the role trump wanted him to play in helping him subvert the election certification process, and i think that will be on display today. you'll see the roles the two
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attorneys were playing in this. gregg jacob, the top white house lawyer to pence and was advising him against going forward with this plan that was put forward by john eastman, the trump attorney that he was frequently listening to in the last days of his time in office. so i'm told that in the months, the 17 months since january 6th happened, trump has continued to criticize pence for not doing what he wanted him to on that day. and pence himself who is not going to be at the hearing. he's at a speech in ohio. he's trying to navigate this. he's at times challenged the former president but also trying to down play the rift between the two of them, because he himself is weighing a 2024 presidential run. >> all right. kaitlyn collins, thank you so much. joining me two veterans of mike pence's inner circle. olivia troy, a former senior adviser and alyssa griffin, pence's press secretary. she's now a cnn political
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commentator. alyssa, you know these people personally from your time in the vice president's office. mark short, the chief of staff, gregg jacob, the head legal counsel, how much credibility do you think they give this hearing, and what could they tell us? >> so i think to date this is going to be the most important hearing, and because this entire -- the day around january 6th hinges on the fact that our democracy literally hung on the brink. it hung in the balance. and it was one man who stopped what the former president was trying to do, overturn a democratic election. these are the close advisers who knew the pressure campaign around vice president pence who gave him the good constitutional sound advice that made him make the right decision. and one thing i can't emphasize enough is i would say pretty much any other person in maga trump world in pence's shoes probably would not have done the right thing. and because of that, i will always say mike pence is a hero who saved our democracy that day. >> interesting.
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olivia, you still have texts you say still give you chills from january 6th. we've learned during this hearing that then president trump actually suggested that he supported the chance of hang mike pence, hang mike pence, outside the capitol that day. >> you know former vice president pence personally as well. what do you think he's thinking, watching all of this testimony about what he went through in the weeks leading up to january 6th? tell us about the text messages. >> look, i think mike pence is saying now is world is learning what everything that my team and i went through. and the reality of the situation, what they were up against, and how hard it was to navigate in that space of listen, i have both men in the room. we've been with trump and seen the dynamic there on how the conversations go, and so look, i get chills right now watching the hearings right now.
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it still is really -- vs. emotional for me still to process it all. even though i was warning people on the leadup to january 6th on what might happen. and looking back, i have texts -- i texted with gregg jacob in the morning of when pence put out the statement that he was going to do his constitutional duty, and it still -- it's something that will live with me forever. and gregg's text to me was yes, god bless america. i said to him, this will be pence's legacy. and i'm grateful he's doing the right thing. later in the day, i circled back as everything unfolded, and i said this is exactly what i worried would happen. i am concerned for all of you. i cannot believe that this is such a dark day for america. and gregg responded and said i'm keeping you and everyone in my prayers and i was like likewide. and he goes i think you'll hear from craig today. i'm glad americans will hear from the voices directly.
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when i think about this and think about people saying that the hearings maybe aren't making a difference, i think they are. and i think they will. and i think leading up to the watergate situation, republicans hung in there from the spring of 19 73 all the way through the following year. right? july. and then the tide started to turn. so the hope is i really hope that as witnesses are there in their words, coming forward, that this will make a difference for our country. >> one of the things that is difficult to understand is pence was under a huge pressure campaign behind the scenes. and they were trying to keep it behind the scenes. and ultimately january 5th, they decided they could no longer do that and pence's chief of staff told the secret service that he was worried that trump was going to publicly make pence a target. two days before january 6th, pence was in georgia trying to get people to the polls for those two special elections.
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senate races. and he said this. take a listen. >> we all got our doubts about the last election. and i want to assure you, i share the concerns of millions of americans about voting irregularities. i promise you come this wednesday, we'll have our day in congress. we'll hear the objections. we'll hear the evidence. >> so obviously on january 6th, he did the right thing. he stood up at great personal and professional risk to himself. at risk of being hanged, literally. how do you reconcile that heroic pence with what we heard? >> listen, any time you try to straddle the line of trumpism and the ultra maga side of the party with the mainstream constitutional republican duties you have, it's going to be hard. this is a challenge that pence has face for some time. even as he looks to 2024, he's going to have to decide. is he going to dabble into that
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perhaps there was fraud? perhaps there was -- there were irregulariti irregularities? ultimately he did the right thing. you mentioned the warning that came to secret service from mark short saying the president might turn against us. there's been a bit of a sort of conspiracy theory out there that the reason pence didn't get in his secret service detail at the capitol on january 6th was because he was afraid of what may take him or what the president might do. i want to be clear. he stayed because he understood the symbolism of standing up for democracy. he knew he needed to stay and fight and certify the election. he also is close with the secret service detail. tim, the lead of it is somebody we knew personally and was a great man who was committed to protecting the vice president. that's just not true. he knew he needed to stay in the capitol and do the job. >> are you satisfied the committee is making clear this is not just about 2020. this is about 2024 and all the people who support these trump
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election lies, getting better position, winning primary races to be secretaries of state and the like? >> i think they've been methodical in their approach to it. i think it's fact-based in terms of how they're painting the picture in the full narrative. it's multiple layers. it's multiple layers of these actors that were involved in the coordinated campaign to overturn an election are still out there. and many of them have expanded their reach. right? we have people running at the state level now. in legislatures. we have people being placed in positions of power like secretary of state that will matter for 2024. so this threat is still ongoing, and i think that's the important work of the committee to really continue to drive that message forward on what this means for the future and what -- >> thank you so much. appreciate your time we're going to get a taste of what pence's advisers were saying as he was being pressured by his boss to unconstitutionally
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overturn the election. stay with us.
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the house of representatives is filling up as we go into a third round of presentation. the hearing we're told will include live and recorded testimony by former aides and advisers to then vice president mike pence including witnesses to then president trump's relentless pressure on pence who unvalidate lawful, legal electoral votes, even though
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pence has no authority to do so. pressure that came from trump, the top, the boss, the president of the jiets. let's go to john king at the magic wall. give us a sense of of all the pressure mike pence was under and what he was hearing from his top aides? >> central to the hearing today will be mike pence who was donald trump's last desperate act, if you will. trump failed in the courts and failed to pressure state governors. the secretary of states. here was january 6th fast approaching. the president kept telling his vice president you have the authority. you can say i won't accept georgia, arizona, pennsylvania. mebs said do i have that authority? one of the people he reached out to was his counsel. the former chief counsel to the vice president. he starts doing the research. he's coming up with no, you do not have this power, mr. vice president. the president keeps pressuring.
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they reach out to a probably federal judge, well respected. and the judge looks at this and says no. what he will say is significant. not only was this illegal. he'll say that donald trump was a threat to the american experiment. today by what he was pushing there. key to this too is these are the two legal minds. mark short, a political guy. that's his job, the chief of staff to the vice president. he was also a legislative director in the trump white house. well-wired in the trump west wing. he's talking to the people around the president saying where is this coming from? acutely aware of the pressure. >> we should note we're going to hear live from craig jacob. we're probably going to hear from mark short in previously recorded testimony. >> right. and again, we've had the reporting. he thought the vice president's life was at risk. he thought there was a threat of violence at the end. as we got closer to the day, they all knew this was their nemesis. john eastman was telling the vice president, telling the lawyers but more importantly
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telling the president, donald trump, yes, he can do this. the vice president can essentially take the process off the rails and say i won't accept pennsylvania. >> and john eastman who spoke at the rally january 6th th, he was a former clerk of michael lewdig in the small world of conservative legal scholars. this is gregg jacob to the president. he understands the pressure he's under. and he essentially says to the vice president, president eastman -- professor eastman acknowledges it's illegal. if the vice president implimped the proposal, he would likely lose in court. this was the memo the vice president used to tell the president i can't do this. >> we should note, the way that legal memos are written are generally understated. this saying it's against the law. if you do this, you're going to lose and be embarrassed. >> yes.
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exactly. and it's also a younger lawyer trying to be repectful of middle easten even if you read the entire memo, he thinks this is a groundless strategy. the judge not exactly a big twitter guy. >> not a big social media guy. >> why on january 5th th does he decide to go public with a tweet. he knows his followers. he knows this will get retweeted by people in conservative legal schools. some of them who are thinking how can we keep donald trump in power? the only responsibility in power of the vice president under the constitution is to faithfully count the electoral college votes as they've been cast. saying mike pence cannot say send pennsylvania back, georgia back, arizona back, michigan back, because i don't like it, and they're going to send new ele electors. the vice president does not that v that power. he's going public. he knows the pressure. the vice president is under. >> it's on january 5th th that mark short, the chief of staff
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for pence tells the secret service this is all about to spill into public view. i think the vice president's life is going to be in danger. that's a significant thing. january 5th, the day before everyone in the inner circle for pence is terrified about what trump is doing is going to spill over and -- >> and as part of the effort to try to find a safety valve, get them to back off. this theory is illegal and dangerous. we know there are people coming to washington. the president summoned them to washington. you can't do this by law and it's risky. and you see this from gregg jacob. on january 6th, it's polite, the vice president is at the capitol. they're chanting hang mike pence. the secret service has to rush him off. respectfully, it was gravely irresponsible for you to entice the president. donald trump lost recounts, lost in court. could not bully the governor of georgia, secretary of state of georgia. he lost at every step. he kept looking for someone else
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to tell him a way to do it. eastman says the vice president can do this. get pence to do this. essentially this is jacob telling eastman on that day, this is your fault. this is your fault y. you enticed the president instead of telling him done, stop, stand down. >> and we should also note that i think it was that same day or at least around there that the trump white house counsel told john eastman, i'm going to give you the best legal advice of your life. get an f 'ing good criminal defense attorney because you're going to need it, and hung up on him. >> he's a member of the council. he knew they had his back. >> we are just minutes away from the start of the hearing including live and recorded testimony by pence aides. pence advisers coverage of the january 6th hearings continues in a moment. stay with us. ♪ limu emu ♪ and doug.
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we're back with our live coverage of the january 6th congressional hearings. today's presentation gets underway minutes from now. we're told the house select committee investigating will initially focus on the days leading up to january 6th and the trump-driven pressure campaign against his vice
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president, mike pence. you will soon hear testimony from key penced a vie vors who urged the vice president who reject trump's demands to overturn the election results. warning the vice president had no authority to do that. before the gavel comes down, let's check in with ryan nobles on capitol hill for us. ryan, we expect the committee to bear in on what trump knew about the legality of what he was pushing pence to do. >> that's right. much like the committee has already made the case that the former president was told time and time again that he did not win the election, but kept pursuing down that avenue, they're going to today establish that he knew the same thing about these legal challenges as they related to the former vice president mike pence. i'm told they'll lay out a case he was told time and time again by attorneys that retrusted and appointed to very important positions that this legal challenge had no merit, but trump continued to pursue this plan and this avenue of legal theory. and in addition to that, i'm
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told that the committee will describe it as trump knocking on door after door after door, and having those doors slammed in the face when it came to the idea that mike pence could stand in the way of the certification election results. and he kept opening the doors until he found an attorney that would do his bidding and it was john eastman. that's part of what the committee will show. >> all right. thank you, ryan. craig jacob was not the only white house attorney who was dismays and disgusted with the advice that was being given to president trump by john eastman. just a few minutes ago with john king at the magic wall, i noted eric herschman. this is what he said he told eastman. >> i said to him, are you out of your f 'ing mind? i said i don't even want to hear
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two words coming out of your mouth from now on. orderly transition. eventually he said orderly transition. i said good, john. now i'm going to give you the best free legal advice you're ever getting in your life. get a great f 'ing criminal defense lawyer. >> and then i hung up, my favorite part. testifying before the january 6th committee talking about what he told john eastman and suggesting that what he was doing was illegal. >> and eastman actually took his advice, because what he now know is when he came in for his testimony, he took the fifth 146 times. i'm told today we will see some of that on tape. >> i want to note the members of the january 6th committee, chairman bennie thompson, democrat of mississippi, vice chair liz cheney, and others are
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coming in. we expect them to gavel in. but before we do -- >> one more thing about eastman. judge carter wrote that eastman's email was a coup in search of a legal theory, and gregg jacob, another part of that email -- >> let's listen in. there's the gavel. >> the select committee to investigate the january 6th attack on the united states capitol will be in order. without objection, the chairs authorize to declare the committee in recess at any point. pursuant to house deposition authority regulation 10, the chair announces the committee's approval to release the deposition material represented during today's hearing. good afternoon.
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this is almost no idea more un-american than the notion that any one person could choose the american president. no idea more un-american. i agree with that which is unusual. because former vice president mike pence and i don't agree on much. these are his words. spoken a few months ago about donald trump's attempt to pressure the former vice president, pressure him into going along with an unlawful and unconstitutional scheme to overturn the 2020 election and give donald trump a second term in office that he did not win. today the select committee is going to reveal the details of that pressure campaign. but what does the vice president of the united states even have to do with the presidential election? the constitution says that the
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vice president of the united states oversees the process of counting the electoral college votes. a process that took place on january 6th, 2021. donald trump wanted mike pence to do something no other vice president has ever done. the former president wanted pence to reject the votes and either declare trump the winner or send the votes back to the states to be counted again. mike pence said no. he resisted the pressure. he knew it was illegal. he knew it was wrong. we're fortunate for mr. pence's courage on january 6th. our democracy came dangerously close to catastrophe. that courage put him in tremendous danger. when mike pence made it clear that he wouldn't give in to donald trump's scheme, donald
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trump turned the mob on him. a mob that was chanting, hang mike pence. a mob that had built a hangman's gallows just outside the capitol. thanks in part to mike pence, our democracy withstood donald trump's scheme in the balance of january 6th. but the danger hasn't receded. by my colleague a lar, today we will lay out the facts for the american people. but first, i recognize my colleague from wyoming, miss cheney, for any opening statements she'd care to offer. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. let me take just a few minutes today to put the topic of our hearing in broader context. in our last hearing, we heard unequivocal testimony that president trump was told his election fraud allegations were
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complete nonsense. we heard this from members of the trump campaign. we heard this from president trump's campaign lawyers. we heard this from president trump's former attorney general, bill barr. we heard this from president trump's former acting attorney general, jeff rosen. and we heard this from president trump's former acting deputy attorney general, richard donahue. we heard from members of president trump's white house staff as well. today we're focusing on president trump's relentless effort to pressure mike pence to refuse to count electoral votes on january 6th. here again is how the former vice president phrased it in a speech before the federalist society, a group of conservative lawyers. >> this week the president trump said i had the right to overturn the election. president trump is wrong. i had no right to overturn the election.
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the presidency belongs to the american people, and the american alone. and frankly, there is no idea more un-american than the notion that any one person could choose the american president. >> what the president wanted the vice president to do was not just wrong. it was illegal, and unconstitutional. we will hear many details in today's hearing, but please consider these two points. first, president trump was told repeatedly that mike pence lacked the constitutional and legal authority to do what president trump was demanding he do. this is testimony from mark short, the vice president's chief of staff who served in the trump administration in multiple positions over four years. >> just to pick up on that, mr. short, was it your impression that the vice president had directly conveyed his position on these issues to the president, not just to the world
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through a dear colleague letter, but directly to president trump? >> many times. >> and was he consistent in conveying his message? >> very consistent. >> president trump plotted with a lawyer jamed john eastman to pressure pence to do so anyway. as the federal court has explained, quote, based on the evidence, the court finds it is more likely than not that trump and eastman dishonestly conspired to disrupt the joint session of congress on january 6th, 2021. what exactly did president trump know? when exactly did president trump know that it would be illegal for mike pence to refuse to count electoral votes? here is one sample of testimony given by one of the witnesses before us today. the vice president's general council. >> did john eastman ever admit,
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as far as you know, in front of the president, that his proposal would violate the electoral conduct? >> i believe he did on the 4th. >> that was january 4th. a few days before the attack on congress. a second point, please listen to testimony today about all of the ways that president trump attempted to pressure vice president pence, including donald trump's tweet at 2:24 p.m., condemning vice president mike pence when president trump already knew a violent riot was underway at the capitol. in future hearings, you will hear from witnesses who were present inside the white house. who were present inside the west wing on that day. but today we focus on the earnest efforts of menace who was determined to -- mike pence who was determined. as vice president pence prepared
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a statement on january 5th and 6th explaining that he could not illegally refuse to count electoral votes, he said this to his staff. >> the vice president said this is the most thing i may ever say. >> this is a statement. >> he really wanted to make sure that it was just so. >> you will hear today that president trump's white house council believed the vice president did exactly the right thing on january 6th. as did others in the white house, as did fox news host sean hannity. vice president pence understood that his oath of office was more important than his loyalty to donald trump. he did his duty. president trump, uneunequivocal did not. i yield back. >> i recognize the gentleman from california for an opening
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statement. >> thank you, mr. chairman. today we intend to show the american people that january 6th was not an isolated incident. in the weeks culminating before it was a legal scheme and deception. we've already learned that president trump knew he lost the 20 20 election. shortly after, he began to look for a way to circumvent our country's most civic tradition, the peaceful transfer of power. the president latched onto a dangerous theory and would not let go, because he was convinced it would keep him in office. we witness firsthand what happened when the president of the united states weaponized this theory. the capitol was overreturn. police officers lost their lives. and the vice president was taken to a secure location because his safety was in jeopardy. let's take a look at the effect of donald trump's words and
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actions. i want to warn our audience that the video contains explicit content. >> mike pence is going to have to come through for us. and if he doesn't, that will be a sad day for our country. and mike pence, i hope you're going to stand up for the good of our constitution and for the good of our country. and if you're not, i'm going to be very disappointed in you, i will tell you right now. >> i'm telling you what, i'm hearing that pence just caved. >> no. >> is that true? >> i didn't -- >> i'm hearing reports that pence caved. i'm telling you, if pence caved, we're going to drag motherfuckers through the streets, the politicians. >> i guess the hope is there's such a show of force here that pence will decide to do the right thing according to trump. >> hang mike pence.
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>> hang mike pence. >> bring mike pence. bring mike pence. hang mike pence. >> how did we get to this point? how did we get to the point where president trump's most radical supporters led a violent attack on the capitol and threatened to hang president trump's own vice president? you'll hear from witnesses that donald trump pressured mike pence to adopt a legally and morally bankrupt idea that the vice president could choose who the next vice president can be? >> you'll hear how the vice president and white house counsel and others told donald trump that pence had no such authority. >> you'll hear how pence withstood pressure from president trump both publicly
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and privately. a pressure campaign that built to a fever pitch with a heated phone call on january 6th. you'll also hear that the president knew there was a violent mob at the capitol when he tweeted at 2:24 p.m. that the vice president did not have the, quote, courage, to do what needed to be done. let me be clear. vice president pence did the right thing that day. he stayed true to his oath to protect and defend the constitution. i look forward to hearing from our witnesses this afternoon. mr. chairman, i yield back. thank you. we are honored to have two distinguished witnesses who advise the vice president regarding his role on january 6th. judge lewd ig is one of the leading legal thinkers in the country. he served in administrations of president ronald reagan and
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george h.w. bush. he was appointed by the latter who serve on the u.s. court of appeals for the fourth circuit where he served from 1991 to 2006. he provided critical advice for vice president pence regarding the role of the vice president in the joint session of congress shortly before that fateful moment. he's written that the vice president does not have the power to select the next president of the united states. he's also written that contrary theory espoused by one of his own former law clerks was, quote, incorrect at every turn. we also joined today by one of the people who was with vice president pence on january 6th. craig jacob was counsel to vice president pence. he conducted a thorough analysis of the role of the vice
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president in the joint session of congress under the constitution. the electoral count act and 230 years of historical practice. but he also has firsthand information about the attack on the capitol, because he lived through it. he was with the vice president, and his own life was in danger. i will now swear in our witnesses. the witnesses will please stand and raise their right hand. the do you swear or affirm on the penalty of perjury that the testimony you're about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you god? >> thank you. you may be seated. >> let the record reflect the witnesses answered in the affirmative. i now recognize myself for
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questions. in the united states, the people choose our representatives, including the highest official in the land, the president of the united states. the american people did this on november 3rd, 2020. president trump did not like the outcome. he did everything he could to change the result of the election. he tried litigation, 62 cases, in fact, and that failed. he tried to pressure state legislatures to reverse the results of the election in their states. but they refused. he tried to enlist the department of justice in his efforts to overturn election results. but officials leading the department refused to comply. so eventually he latched onto a completely nonsensical and a anti-democratic theory that one man, his own vice president, could determine the outcome of
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the election. he wanted the vice president to unilaterally select the president. this theory that the vice president could unilaterally select the president runs completely contrary to our constitution, our laws, and the entirety of our american experience. but that didn't stop -- didn't matter to president trump. i would now like to explore how president trump came to latch onto this ridiculous legal theory that the vice president can select the president of the united states. mr. jacob, how did this theory first come to your attention? >> the first time that i had a conversation with the vice president about the 12 th amendment and the electoral
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count act was in early december around december 7th. the vice president called me over to his west wing office, and told me that he had been seeing and reading things that suggested that he had significant role to play on january 6th in announcing the outcome of the election. he told me he had been first elected to congress in 2000 and one of his earlier memories as a congressman was sitting in on the 2001 certification, and he recalled that al gore gavelled down a number of objections that had been raised to florida. and he asked me mechanically how does this work at the joint session? what are the rules? and i told the vice president that, in fact, i had a fairly good idea of how things worked. that actually there aren't rules that govern the joint session, but what there is is a provision
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of the constitution that's just one sentence long, and then an electoral count act that was passed in 1887, and i told the vice president that i could put a memo together for him that would explain the applicable rules. >> so when you looked at this theory, mr. jacobs, what did you conclude? >> so we concluded that what you have is a sentence in the constitution that is inartfully drafted, but the vice president's first instinct when he heard this theory was that there was no way that our framers who had bored concentrated power and broken away from the tyranny of george iii would ever have put one person, particularly not a person who had a direct interest in the outcome, because they were on the ticket for the election, in a role to have decisive impact on the outcome
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of the election. and our review of text, history, and frankly, just common sense, all confirmed the vice president's first instinct on that point. there is no justifiable basis to conclude that the vice president has that kind of authority. >> thank you, mr. jacob. we will hear more today about how despite this conclusion by you and other top legal advisers, the former president used this discredited theory in his campaign to pressure the vice president to decide the outcome of the presidential election. i now recognize the gentlewoman from wyoming, miss cheney, for questions. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. judge, thank you as well for being here with us today. you issued a very important statement earlier today which i
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urge all americans to read, and i'd like to ask you, judge, about one of the sentences in your statement and ask if you could explain to us the significance of it. you say had the vice president of the united states obeyed the president of the united states, america would immediately have been plunged into what would have been tantamount to a revolution within a paralyzing constitutional crisis. could you elaborate on that for us, judge? >> thank you. madame, vice chairman, that passage in my statement this morning referenced the most
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foundational concept in america which is the rule of law. thus, as i interpret your question, you're asking about that foundational truth of these united states which we call america. the foundational truth is the rule of law. that foundational truth is for the united states of america, the profound truth.
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but it's not nearly the profound truth for the united states. it's also the simple truth. the simple foundational truth of the american republic. thus, in my view, the hearings being conducted by this select committee are examining that profound truth, namely the rule of law in the united states of america.
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the specific question, of course, before you and before the nation, not before me, is whether that foundational rule of law was supremely violated on january 6th, 2021. now, to the question specifically that you asked, madame vice chair. i believe that had vice presidents pence obeyed the orders from his president and
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the president of the united states of america during the joint session of the congress of the united states on january 6th, 2021, and declared donald trump the next president of the united states, notwithstanding that then president trump had lost the electoral college vote as well as the popular vote in the 2020 presidential election. that declaration of donald trump
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as the next president would have plunged america into what i believe would have been tantamount to a revolution within a constitutional crisis in america, which in my view, and i'm only one man, would have been the first constitutional crisis since the founding of the republic. >> thank you, very much, judge,
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for your solemn attention to the issues, and for your appearance here today. we're going to describe and discuss in detail what happened, and as we do, i'm going to describe a few of the details now of some of the actions taken by a gentleman named kenneth chesebro. after the electoral college met and cast their votes on december 14th, actually the day before they met, kenneth chesebro spent a mayor to rudy giuliani, the president's lead outside counsel. he wrote to giuliani that the vice president is charged with, vote, making judgments about what to do if there are conflicting votes, closed quote. mr. chesobro wrote when the
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joint session of congress got to arizona, the vice president should not count the biden votes, quote, because there are two slates of votes. his justification which we will learn more about in the next hearing was a group of trump supporters in arizona and other swing states decided to proclaim themselves the true electorals for the state, creating two sets of electors. the official electors selected by the state and a group of fake electors. this document was ordered to be produced to the select committee by the federal district court judge. as you will see on the screen shortly, judge david carter wrote, quote, the draft memo pushed a strategy that knowingly violated the electoral count act. the judge concluded that, quote, the memo is both intimately related to and clearly advanced the plan to obstruct the joint
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session of congress on january 6th, 2021. a few days later, professor john eastman took up this cause. eastman was at the time a law professor, at chapman university law school. he prepared a memo outlining the nonsensical theory that the vice president could decide the outcome of the election at the joint session of congress on january 6th. you will see portions of this memo on the screen. in the first line, he wrote, quote, seven states have transmitted dual slates of electors to the president of the senate. but dr. eastman goes onto rely on those so-called dual slates of electors to say that vice president pence could simply declare president trump the winner of the 2020 election. mr. jacob, were there, in fact, dual slates of electors from seven states? >> no, there were not.
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>> and just a few days after that, dr. eastman wrote another memo. this one, quote, war gaming out several scenarios. we knew the outcome he wanted and saw a way to go forward if he simply pretended that fake electors were real. you will see that memo up on the screen now. here dr. eastman says, the vice president can reject the biden electors from the states that he calls, quote, disputed. under several of the scenarios, the vice president could ultimately just declare donald trump the winner regardless of the vote totals that had already been certified by the states. however, this was false. and dr. eastman knew it was false. in other words, it was a lie. in fact, on december 19th, 2 2020,, just four days before dr. eastman sent this memo, dr. eastman himself admitted in an email that the fake electors had
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no legal weight. referring to the fake electors as, quote, dead on arrival in congress. end quote. because they did not have a certification from their states. judge luttig, did the trump electors in the states not certified by any state authority have any legal significance? >> congresswoman, there was no support whatsoever in either the constitution of the united states nor the laws of the united states. or the vice president. frankly, ever, to count
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alternative electoral slates from the states that had not been officially certified by the designated state official in the electoral count act of 1887. i did notice in the passage from mr. eastman's memorandum, and i took a note on it. and correct me if i'm wrong, but he said in that passage that there was both legal authority as well as historical precedent. i do know what mr. eastman was
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referring to. when he said that there was historical precedent for doing so. he was incorrect. there was no historical precedent from the beginning of the founding in 1789 that even as mere historical prescedent a distinguished from legal precedent would support the possibility of the vice president of the united states, quote, counting alternative electoral slates that had not
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been officially certified to the congress pursuant to the electoral count act of 1887. i would be glad to explain that historical precedent if the committee wanted, but it would be a digression. >> thank you, very much, judge. i know my colleagues will be pursuing that issue in more depth, and now i'd like to yield back, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much. pursuant to section 5c8 of house resolution -- we recognize the gentleman from california and staff counsel mr. john wood for questioning. >> thank you, mr. chairman. we're fortunate to have a bipartisan staff. senior investigative counsel john wood previously served as
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united states attorney under george w. bush. we will share today's line of questioning. >> thank you. judge, i had the honor of serving as one of your law clerks. another person who did was john eastman. and you have written that dr. eastman's theory that the vice president could determine who the next president of the united states is is, in your words, incorrect at every turn. could you please explain briefly your analysis? >>. >> it was my honor, mr. wood, to have you serve as my law clerk.
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i could answer that question perfectly if i had at my disposal either mr. eastman's tweet or my own an alytical twet of september 21st, but i don't. but that said, let me try to remember the analysis of mr. eastman's analysis. >> and judge, i can read to you and the audience, i think what was a really key passage from your insightful analysis. you wrote, i believed that professor eastman was incorrect at every turn of the analysis in his january 2nd memorandum
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including -- you've addressed that issue. but your next sentence said, continuing to his conclusion that the vice president would unilaterally decide not to count the votes from the seven states from which competing slates were allegedly presented. what was your conclusion based on? >> i understand. as i previously stated in response to congresswoman cheney, the -- there was no basis in the constitution or laws of the united states at all. the theory espoused by mr. eastman at all.
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none. with all respect to my co-panelists, he said, i believe in partial response to one of the select committee's questions, that the single sentence in the 12th amendment was he thought an artfully written that single sentence is not an artfully written -- inartfully written. it was pristine clear that the president of the senate on january 6th, the incumbent vice
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president of the united states, had little substantive constitutional authority, if any at all. the 12th amendment, the single sentence that mr. jacob refers to, says in substance, that following the transmission of the certificates to the congress of the united states, and under the electoral count act of 1887, t t t t t the archivist of the united states, that the presiding officer shall open the
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certificates in the presence of the congress of the united states in joint session. it then says unmistakably not even that the vice president himself shall count the electoral votes. it clearly says merely that the electoral count votes shall then be counted. it was the electoral count act of 1887 that filled in, if you
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will, the simple words of the 12th amendment. in order to construct for the country a process for the counting of the sacred process for the counting of the electoral votes from the states, that neither our original constitution nor even the 12th amendment had done. the irony, if you will, is that from its founding until 1887
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when congress passed the electoral count act, the nation had been in considerable turmoil during at least five of its presidential elections, beginning as soon thereafter from the founding as 1800. so it wasn't for almost 100 years later until the electoral count act was passed. so that's why in my view, that piece of legislation is not only a work in progress for the country, but at this moment in
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history, an important work in progress that needs to take place. that was long winded. i understand. >> but judge, at the risk of oversimplifying for the nonlawyers who are watching, is it fair to say the 12th amendment basically says two things happen. the vice president opens the certificates and the electoral votes are counted. is it that straightforward? >> i would not want that to be my testimony before the congress of the united states. the language of the 12th amendment is that simple. >> thank you, judge. >> mr. jacob, i have a question for you. i believe during your deposition before this committee, you said
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something to the effect of you'd read every word written about the 12th amendment, the electoral count act and historic practice. i know in response to the chairman's earlier question, you gave your bottom line conclusion. can you tell us about the process you and your colleagues went through of researching this issue and what conclusion you came to after your thorough research? >> so you, as a lawyer, who is analyzing the constitutional provision, you start with the constitutional text. you go to structure. you go to history. so we started with the text. we did not think that the text was quite as unambiguous as the judge indicated. in part, we had a constitutional crisis in 1876 because in that year, multiple slates of electors were certified by multiple slates, and when it
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came time to count the votes, the question of which ones had to be answered. that required the appointment of an independent commission. that commission had to resolve that question, and the purpose of the electoral count act of 1887 had been to resolve those ambiguities. i am in agreement with the judge. it is unambiguous that the vice president does not have the authority to reject electors. there is no suggestion of any kind that it does. there is no mention of rejecting or objecting to electorals. is notion that the vice president could do that is not in the text, but the problem that we had and that john eastman raised in the discussions was we had all seen that in congress, in 2000, in
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2004 and 2016, there had been objections raised to various states. and those have even been debated in 2004. and so here you have an amendment that says nothing about objecting or rejecting, and yet, we did have some recent practice of that happening within the terms of the electoral count act. so we started with that text. and i recall in my discussion with the vice president, he said i can't wait to go to heaven and meet the framers and tell them the work that you did in putting together our constitution is a work of genius. thank you. it was divinely inspired. there is one sentence that i would like to talk to you a little bit about. so then we went to structure. and again, the vice president's first instinct here is so decisive on this question. there is just no way that the
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framers of the constitution who divided power and authority, who separated it out, who has broken away from george iii and declared him to be a tyrant. there was no way they would have put in the hands of one person the authority to determine who was going to be president of the united states. and then we went to history. we examined every single electoral vote count thatted that happened in congress since the beginning of the country. we examined electoral count act. we examined practice under the electoral count act, and critically. no vice president in 230 years of history had ever claimed to have that kind of authority, hadn't claimed authority to reject electoral votes. had not claimed authority to return electoral votes back to the states. in the entire history of the united states, not once had a joint session ever returned electoral votes back to the
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states to be counted. and in the crisis of 1876, justice bradley of the united states supreme court who supplied the decisive final vote on that commission had specifically looked at that question, and said first, the vice president clearly doesn't have authority to decide anything. and by the way, also does not have authority to conduct an investigation by sending things back out for a public look at things. so the history was decisive, and again, part of my discussion with mr. eastman was if you were right, don't you think al gore might have liked to have known in 2000 that he had authority to just declare himself president of the united states? did you think that the democrat lawyers just didn't think of this very obvious quirk that he could use to do that. and of course, he acknowledged al gore did not and should not have had that authority at that point in time.
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but so, text structured history. i think what we had was some ambiguous text that common sense and structure would tell you the answer cannot possibly be that the vice president has that authority. as the committee already played, the vice president's remarks, there is nothing more un-american. and then unbroken historical practice for 230 years that the vice president did not have such an authority. >> thank you, i reserve the remainder of my time. >> mr. jacob, you weren't the only one who knew that the legal theory was wrong, though. here's what various advisors to the president thought about that theory. >> clear repeatedly with mr. meadows about you and the vice president having different view about his authority on january 6th. >> i believe i had. >> did mr. meadows ever
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explicitly or tacitly agree with you or say, yeah, that makes sense, or, okay? >> i believe that mark did agree. >> what makes you say that? >> i believe it's what he told me, but as i mentioned, i think mark had told so many people so many different things that it was not something that i would necessarily accept his, okay, well, that means that's resolved. >> tell me more what he told you on this topic. >> well, i think it was that you know, the vice president doesn't have any broader role. and i think he was understanding of that. >> so, despite the fact that he may have said other things to the president or others, to you, he said he understands the vice president has no role? >> yes. >> okay. did he say that to you several times? >> a cultouple times. >> before january 6th? >> yes. >> it was communicated to me was that pat cipollone thought the
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idea was nutty and at one point confronted eastman, basically, with the same sentiment. >> pat expressed that his admiration for the vice president's actions on the day of the 6th and said that he concurred with the legal analysis that our team had put together to reach that point. >> it made no sense to me that in all the protections that were built into the constitution, for a president to get elected and steps that have to be taken, that the power to choose the next president would be sitting with the vice president. >> do you know if mr. clark or mr. morgan -- is it morgan -- viewed about that -- thought about that, mr. eastman's advice? >> yeah, they thought he was crazy. >> do you know if they ever expressed an opinion on whether they thought the vice president had the power that john eastman said he did? >> i know for a fact i heard
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both say that his theory was crazy, that there was no validity to it in any way, shape, or form. >> and did they express that before january 6th? >> yes. >> to whom? >> i think anyone who would listen. >> what were your prior interactions with eastman? >> he described for me what he thought the ambiguity was in the statute, and he was walking through it at that time. and i said, hold on second. i want a understand what you're saying. you're saying that you believe the vice president aboucting as president of the senate can be the sole decision maker in your theory over who becomes the next president of the united states? and he said, yes. and i said, are you out of your f'ing mind? and that was pretty blunt. i said, you're completely crazy. i said, you're going to turn around and tell 78-plus million
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people in this country that your theory is this is how you're going to invalidate their votes because you think the election was stolen? and he said, they're not going to tolerate that. i said, you're going to cause riots in the streets. and he said words to the effect of, there's been violence in the history of our country to protect the democracy or protect the republic. >> in fact, there was a risk that the lawyers in the white house counsel's office would resign. for example, fox news host sean hannity expressed concern that the entire white house counsel's office could quit. as you can see from these texts, mr. hannity wrote to white house chief of staff mark meadows that "we can't lose the entire white house counsel's office. i do not see january 6th happening the way he is being told.
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"a few days later on january 5th, mr. hannity wrote to mr. meadows, "i'm very worried the next 48 hours. pence pressure, white house counsel will leave." while sean hannity was apparently very concerned about the possibility that the white house counsel would resign in protest, the president's effort to force the vice president to violate the constitution, some others close to the president were more dismissive of the white house counsel's position. here's what trump's son-in-law and senior advisor jared kushner said during his deposition regarding the white house counsel's pat cipollone's threats to resign. >> are you aware of instances where pat cipollone threatened to resign? >> i kind of -- like i said, my interest at that time was on trying to get as many pardons done, and i know that he was always -- him and the team were always saying, oh, we're going to resign, we're not going here
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if this happens, that happens, so i kind of took it up to just be whining, to be honest with you. >> president's own lead outside counsel, rudy giuliani, also seemed to concede that the vice president did not have the authority to decide the outcome of the election or send it back to the states. here's what white house attorney eric herschmann said about his call with mayor giuliani on the morning of the 6th. >> the morning of january 6th, i think he called me out of the blue. and i was, like, getting dressed, and we had an intellectual discussion about eastman's -- i don't know if it's eastman's theory, per se, but the vp's role, and you know, he was asking me my view and analysis and practical implications of it. and when we finished, he said, look, i believe that you're
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probably right. i think he thought it would be something he'd have to consider if he was sitting on the bench, but he'd probably come down on that, you know, you couldn't interpret it or sustain the argument long-term. >> of course, the fact that mayor giuliani seemed to admit that the theory was wrong did not stop him from going before the crowd just a few hours later on january 6th and saying the exact opposite. here's mayor giuliani's speech at the ellipse rally on january 6th. >> we're here just very briefly to make a very important two points. number one, every single thing that has been outlined as the plan for today is perfectly legal. i have professor eastman here with me to say a few words about that. he's one of the preeminent constitutional scholars in the
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united states. it is perfectly appropriate, given the questionable constitutionality of the election counting act of 1887 that the vice president can cast it aside and he can do what a president called jefferson did when he was vice president. he can decide -- he can decide on the validity of these crooked ballots. or he can send it back to the legislatures, give them five to ten days to finally finish the work. >> and here's what dr. eastman said in his speech at the ellipse on january 6th. >> and all we are demanding of
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vice president pence is this afternoon at 1:00, he let the legislatures of the state look into this so we get to the bottom of it and the american people know whether we have control of the direction of our government or not. >> even dr. eastman knew his theory didn't hold water. mr. jacob, you discussed and even debated this theory at length with dr. eastman. did dr. eastman ever tell you what he thought the u.s. supreme court without do if it had to decide this issue? >> yes. we had an extended discussion, an hour and a half to two hours on january 5th, and when i pressed him on the point, i said, john, if the vice president did what you are asking him to do, we would lose 9-0 in the supreme court, wouldn't we? and he initially started, well, i think, maybe you would lose only 7-2. and after some further
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discussion, acknowledged, well, yeah, you're right, we would lose 9-0. >> i appreciate that. in our investigation, the select committee has obtained evidence suggesting that dr. eastman never really believed his own theory. let me explain. on the screen, you can see a draft letter to the president from october 2020. in this letter, an idea was proposed that the vice president could determine which electors to count at the joint session of congress, but the person writing in blue eviscerates that argument. the person who wrote the comments in blue quote, "the 12th amendment only says that the president of the senate opens the ballots in the joint session and then in the passive voice, that the votes shall then be counted." the comments in blue further state, "nowhere does it suggest that the president of the senate gets to make the determination on his own." judge luttig, does it surprise
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you that the author of those comments in blue was, in fact, john eastman? >> yes, it does, congressman. but let me, watching this unfold, let me try to unpack what was at the root of what i have called the blueprint to overturn the 2020 election. and it is this. and i had foreshadowed this answer in my earlier testimony to congresswoman cheney. mr. eastman, from the beginning, said to the president that there
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was both legal as well as historical precedent for the vice president to overturn the election. and what we've heard today, i believe, is what happened within the white house and elsewhere as all the players, led by mr. eastman, got wrapped around the axle by the historical evidence claim by mr. eastman. let me explain very simply.
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this is what i said would require a digression, that i would be glad to undertake if you wished. in short, if i had been advising the vice president of the united states on january 6th, and even if then vice president jefferson and even then vice president john adams, and even then vice president richard nixon had done
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exactly what the president of the united states wanted his vice president to do, i would have laid my body across the road before i would have let the vice president over turn the 2020 election on the basis of that historical precedent. but what this body needs to know, and now america needs to know, is that that was the centerpiece of the plan to overturn the 2020 election. it was the historical precedent in the years and with the vice presidents that i named as
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congressman raskin understands well, and the effort by mr. eastman and others was to drive that historical precedent up to and under that single sentence, single, pristine sentence in the 12th amendment to the united states constitution. taking advantage of, if you will, what many have said is the inartful wording of that sentence in the 12th amendment.
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scholars before 2020 would have used that historical precedent to argue not that vice president pence could overturn the 2020 election by accepting noncertified state electoral votes, but they would have made arguments as to some substantive, not merely procedural, authority possessed by the vice president of the united states on the statutorily prescribed day for counting the electoral college votes. this is constitutional mischief. >> judge, i think that's a good point.
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and i think it kind of begs the question that if the vice president had this power to determine the outcome of a presidential election, why hasn't it ever been used before? why hasn't that ever happened? why hasn't a vice president simply rejected the outcome of an election and declared someone else the winner? and instead, as the chairman mentioned in his opening, for over two centuries, vice presidents have presided over the joint sessions of congress in a purely ceremonial role. this even includes, as mr. jacob mentioned, vice president al gore. for those of us who are old enough to remember, the 2000 election came down to one state, florida. there were weeks of recounts and litigation after the election, and al gore conceded. of course, al gore was vice president at the time, but he never suggested that he could simply declare himself the winner of the 2000 election when he presided over the counting of the electoral votes. let's hear what vice president gore said when he described the situation he faced in 2000. >> importance of the united
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states of america in all of human history, in lincoln's phrase, we still red light last best hope of humankind, and the choice between one's own disappointment in your personal career and upholding the noble traditions of america's democracy, it's a pretty easy choice when it comes down to it. >> mr. jacob, did dr. eastman say whether he would want other vice presidents such as al gore after the 2000 election or kamala harris after the 2024 election, to have the power to decide the outcome of the election? >> so, this was one of the many points that we discussed on january 5th. he had come into that meeting trying to persuade us that there was some validity to his theory. i viewed it as my objective to persuade him to acknowledge he was just wrong, and i thought this had to be one of the most
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powerful arguments. i mean, john, back in 2000, you weren't jumping up and saying, al gore had this authority to do that. you would not want kamala harris to be able to exercise that kind of authority in 2024 when i hope republicans will win the election and i know you hope that too, john. and he said, absolutely. al gore did not have a basis to do it in 2000. kamala harris shouldn't be able to do it in 2024. but i think you should do it today. >> marc short told the select committee that vice president pence consulted with one of his predecessors, vice president dan quayle, regarding the role of the vice president. vice president quayle confirmed pence's view that the role was purely ceremonial. mr. short also told the committee that he, mr. short, received a call from former house speaker paul ryan. here is mr. short's description of his conversation with speaker ryan.
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>> speaker ryan wanted to call and say, you know, you don't have any greater authority, and i said to him, mr. speaker, you know mike. you know he doesn't -- you know he recognizes that. and we sort of laughed about it and he said, i get it. and he later spoke to the vice president too, to have the same conversation. >> fortunately for the fate of our republic, vice president pence refused to go along with president trump's demands that he determine the outcome of the presidential election. mr. jacob, what was the vice president's reaction when you discussed with him the theory that the vice president could decide the outcome of the election? >> congressman, as i've testified, the vice president's first instinct was that there was no way that any one person, particularly the vice president, who is on the ticket and has a vested outcome in the election, could possibly have the authority to decide it by
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rejecting electors or to decisively alter the outcome by suspending the joint session for the first time in history in order to try to get a different outcome from state legislatures. >> despite the fact that the vice president had a strongly held and correct view that he could not decide the outcome of the election, president trump launched a multiweek campaign of both public and private pressure to get the vice president mike pence to violate the constitution. here are some examples of the intense pressure the vice president faced from all sides and what his chief of staff thought of it. >> i hope mike pence comes through for us, i have to tell you. i hope that our great vice president, our great vice president comes through for us. he's a great guy. of course, if he doesn't come through, i won't like him quite as much. >> was it your impression that
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the vice president had directly conveyed his position on these issues to the president, not just to the world through a dear colleague letter but directly to president trump? >> many times. >> and he'd been consistent in conveying his position to the president? >> very consistent. >> i am -- i am aware of the fact that the president was upset with the way pence acted. >> are we to assume that this is going to be a climactic battle? >> i think a lot of that depends on the courage and the spine of the individuals involved. >> that would be a nice way to say, a guy named mike -- vice president mike pence? >> yes. >> i think we've been clear as to what the vice president's role is. i think the vice president made clear with the president. i think i've been clear with mark meadows. >> i think the vice president is going to throw down tomorrow and do the right thing because like i said before, this is a time for choosing. people are going to look back at this moment tomorrow and remember where every single one of their elected officials were.
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did they vote for the rule of law in getting these elections right? or did they give it away to the democrats or the people who cheated and stole their way through this election? >> definitely, i got back into town, the 5th and the 6th, the president was, you know, all the attention was on what mike would do or what mike wouldn't do. >> the vice president really was not wavering in his commitment to what his responsibility was, and so yeah, was it painful? sure. >> the president's pressure campaign started in december. for example, although the vice president made his views clearly and unmistakably known to the president and others in the white house, on december 23rd, president trump retweeted a memo from an individual named ivan reichland entitled "operation pence card" that called on the vice president to refuse the
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electoral college votes from certain states that had certified joe biden as the winner. president trump started his pressure campaign in december but he dialed up the pressure as january 6th approached. indicates that by the time january 4th arrived, president trump had already engaged in a, quote, multiweek campaign to pressure the vice president to decide the outcome of the election. this had included private conversations between the two leaders, trump's tweets, and at least one meeting with members of congress. we understand that the vice president started his day on january 4th with a rally in georgia for the republican candidates in the u.s. senate runoff. when the vice president returned to washington, he was summoned to meet with the president regarding the upcoming joint session of congress. mr. jacob, who attended that meeting? >> the attendees were the vice president, the president, marc
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short, the chief of staff to the vice president, myself, and john eastman. there was about a five-minute period where mark meadows came in on a different issue. >> let's show a photo of that meeting. mr. jacob, during that meeting, between the president and the vice president, what theories did dr. eastman present regarding the role of the vice president in counting the electoral votes? >> during the meeting on january 4th, mr. eastman was opining that there were two legally viable arguments as to authorities that the vice president could exercise two days later on january 6th. one of them was that he could reject electoral votes outright. the other was that he could use his capacity as presiding officer to suspend the
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proceedings and declare, essentially, a ten-day recess, during which states that he deemed to be disputed -- there was a list of five to seven states that the exact number changed from conversation to conversation -- but that the vice president could sort of issue a demand to the state legislatures in those states to re-examine the election and declare who had won each of those states. so, he said that both of those were legally viable options. he said that he did not recommend, upon questioning, he did not recommend what he called the more aggressive option, which was reject outright, because he thought that that would be less politically palatable, that the imperimeter of state legislature authority would be necessary to ultimately have public acceptance of an
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outcome in favor of president trump, and so he advocated that the preferred course of action would be the procedural route of suspending the joint session and sending the election back to the states. >> mr. jacob, i know you won't discuss the direct conversations between the president and the vice president, so rather than asking you what the vice president said in that meeting, i'll ask you more general question. did the vice president ever waiver in his position that he could not union union latly decide which electors to accept? >> the vice president never budged from the position i described as his first instinct was it made no sense from everything that he knew and had studied about our constitution that one person would have that kind of authority. >> did the vice president ever waver in his position that he could not delay certification and send it back to the states? >> no, he did not. >> did dr. eastman admit in front of the president that his proposal would violate the electoral count act?
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>> so, during that meeting, on the 4th, i think i raised the problem that both of mr. eastman's proposals would violate several provisions of the electoral count act. mr. eastman acknowledged that that was the case. that even what he viewed as the more politically palatable option would violate several provisions, but he thought that we could do so because in his view, the electoral count act was unconstitutional, and when i raised concerns that that position would likely lose in court, his view was that the court simply wouldn't get involved. they would invoke the political question doctrine and therefore we could have some comfort proceeding with that path. >> mr. wood? >> just to reiterate, he told you -- maybe this was in a later conversation -- but he told you at some point that if in fact the issue ever got to supreme court, his theory would lose
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9- 9-0, correct? >> the next morning, starting around 11:00, we met for an hour and a half to two hours and in that meeting, i've already described the text structure history conversation but we started walking through all of that, and i said, john, basically, what you have is some text that may be a little bit ambiguous, but then nothing else that would support it, including the fact that nobody would ever want that to be the rule. wouldn't we lose 9-0 in the supreme court? and again, he initially started, well, maybe you'd only lose 7-2 but ultimately acknowledged that, no, we would lose 9-0. no judge would support his argument. >> after his meeting with the vice president, donald trump flew to georgia for a rally in support of the republican candidates in the united states senate runoff. even though the vice president
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had been steadfast in resisting the president's pressure, president trump continued to publicly pressure vice president pence in his georgia speech. rather than focusing exclusively on the georgia senate runoff, trump turned his attention to mike pence. here's what the president said during that rally in georgia. >> pence comes through for us, i have to tell you. i hope that our great vice president -- our great vice president comes through for us. he's a great guy. of course, if he doesn't come through, i won't like him quite as much. >> so, the president had been told multiple times that the vice president could not affect the outcome of the election, but he nonetheless publicly pressured mike pence to do exactly that by saying, "if he doesn't come through, i won't like him as much." let's turn now to january 5th. mr. wood? >> thank you.
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that morning, meaning january 5th, the president issued a tweet expressly stating that the vice president had the power to reject electors. let's look at what the president wrote. "the vice president has the power to reject fraudulently chosen electors." mr. jacob, you've already told us about your meeting with dr. eastman and the president on january 4th, and you briefly made reference to the meeting you had with dr. eastman the next day, january 5th. can you tell us a little bit more about that meeting with dr. eastman on january 5th? for example, where was the meeting? who was there? >> so, at the conclusion of the meeting on the 4th, the president had asked that our office meet with mr. eastman the next day to hear more about the positions he had expressed at that meeting, and the vice president indicated that --
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offered me up as his counsel to fulfill that duty. so, we met in marc short's office in the executive office building across the way from the white house. dr. eastman had a court hearing by zoom that morning, so it didn't start first thing, but rather started around 11:00, and that meeting went for about an hour and a half, two hours. chief of staff marc short was at that meeting most of the time. there were a few times that he left. and essentially, it was an extended discussion. what most surprised me about that meeting was that when mr. eastman came in, he said, i'm here to request that you reject the electors. so, on the 4th, that had been
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the path that he had said, i'm not recommending that you do that. but on the 5th, he came in and expressly requested that. and i grabbed a notebook because i was heading into the meeting. i didn't hear much new from him to record, but that was the first thing i recorded in my notes was request that the vp reject. >> just to be clear, you're saying that dr. eastman urged the vice president to adopt the very same approach that dr. eastman appeared to abandon in the oval office meeting with the president the day before, is that correct? >> he had recommended against it, the evening before. and then on the 5th, came in and -- i think was probably his first words after introductions and as we sat down were, i'm here to request that you reject the electors in the disputed states. >> and you referenced a moment
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ago some handwritten notes, which you've provided to the select committee. i'd now like to show you those notes. as you can see, you wrote there at the top, the writing's a little bit faint in the copy, but you wrote, "requesting vp reject." is that accurately reflect what dr. eastman asked of you in your meeting on january 5th? >> yes. >> and what was your reaction when dr. eastman said on january 5th that he was there to ask the vice president of the united states to reject electors at the joint session of congress? >> i was surprised, because i had viewed it as sort of one of the key concessions that we had secured the night before from mr. eastman that he was not recommending that we do that. >> so, what did you say to him? >> well, as i indicated, to some extent, it simplified my task because the -- there are more
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procedural complexities to the send it back to the states point of view and i actually had spent most of my evening the night before writing a memorandum to the vice president explaining all of the specific provisions of the electoral count act that that plan would violate. so, instead, since he was pushing the sort of robust unilateral power theory, i've already walked the committee through the discussions that we had. again, we -- i started out with our points of commonality or what i thought were our points of commonality, we're conservatives, we're small government people, we believe in originalism as the means by which we're going to interpret this, and so we walked through the text. we walked through the history. and the committee has shown footage of mr. eastman on the stage on the 6th claiming that jefferson supported his position in a historical example of jefferson. in fact, he conceded in that
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meeting, jefferson did not at all support his position, that in the election of 1800, there had been some small technical defect with the certificate in georgia. it was absolutely undisputed that jefferson had won georgia. jefferson did not assert that he had any authority to reject electors. he did not assert that he had any authority to resolve any issue during the course of that. and so, he acknowledged by the end that there was no historical practice whatsoever that supported his position. he had initially tried to push examples of jefferson and adams. he ultimately acknowledged they did not work, as we've covered. he acknowledged we would lose 9-0 in the supreme court. he again tried to say, but i don't think the courts will get involved in this. they'll invoke the political question doctrine, and so if the courts stay out of it, that will mean that we'll have the ten
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days for the states to weigh in and resolve it. and then the, you know, they'll send back the trump slates of electors and the people will be able to accept that. and i expressed my vociferous disagreement with that point. i did not think that this was a political question. among other things, if the courts did not step in to resolve this, there was nobody else to resolve it. you would be in a situation where you have a standoff between the president of the united states and counterfactually, the vice president of the united states, saying that we have exercised authorities that constitutionally we think we have by which we have deemed ourselves the winners of the election. you would have an opposed house and senate zbdisagreeing with that. you would have state legislatures that, to that
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point, i mean, republican leaders across those legislatures had put together -- had put out statements, and we collected these for the vice president as well, that the people had spoken in their states and they had no intention of reversing the outcome of the election. we did receive some signed letters that mr. eastman forwarded us by minorities of leaders in those states, but no state had any legislative house that indicated that it had any interest in it. so you would have had just an unprecedented constitutional jump ball situation with that standoff, and as i expressed to him, that issue might well then have to be decided in the streets. because if we can't work it out politically, we've already seen how charged up people are about this election. and so, it would be a disastrous
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situation to be in. i said, i think the courts will intervene. i do not see a commitment in the constitution of the question whether the vice president has that authority to some other actor to resolve. there's arguments about whether congress and the vice president jointly have a constitutional commitment to generally decide electoral vote issues. i don't think that they have any authority to object or reject them. i don't see it in the 12th amendment. but nonetheless -- and i concluded by saying, john, in light of everything that we have discussed, can't you -- we just both agree that this is a terrible idea? and he couldn't quite bring himself to say "yes" to that, but he very clearly said, well, yeah, i see we're not going to be able to persuade you to do this. and that was how the meeting concluded. >> but you just described a terrifying scenario.
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sounds like there could have been chaos under the eastman approach, and you even described it as a potentially could be decided in the streets. and you described several concessions that dr. eastman made throughout that discussion or even debate that you had with him. at some point during that meeting on january 5th, did dr. eastman seem to admit that both of the theories that he had presented to the united states the day before, so, the theory that the vice president could reject electors outright and declare donald trump the winner and his less aggressive theory that the vice president could simply send it back to the states, at some point in this conversation on the 5th, did dr. eastman seem to admit that both of these theories suffered from similar legal flaws? >> so, i had at least one, possibly two other conversations with dr. eastman later that day.
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in the earlier meeting, we really were focused because his request that he made had been reject the electors outright, on why that theory was wrong and why we certainly would not be doing that. later that day, he pivoted back to, well, we hear you loud and clear. you're not going to reject, but remember last night i said that there was this more prudent course where you could just send it back to the states. would you be willing to do that? and during the course of our discussion about his renewed request that we consider that option, he acknowledged to me -- he put it both mr. eastman and myself are graduates of the university of chicago law school, and he said, look, as graduates of that august institution, you and i will mutually understand that the underlying legal theory of
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plenary vice presidential authority is what you have to have to get there. because this new theory, as i was pointing out to him, or the procedural theory, still violates several provisions of the electoral count act, as he acknowledged. and the only way that you could ever be able to ignore several provisions of statutory law is if it was pretty clear that they were unconstitutional. and the only way they could be unconstitutional is if the vice president had the plenary authorities that were formed in the basis for the reject the votes as well. so, he acknowledged in those conversations that the underlying legal theory was the same. he just thought that the send it back to the states option would be more politically palatable, and he hoped more palatable to the vice president for that reason. >> and in fact, when dr. eastman made this concession during that
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meeting, according to your earlier deposition, dr. eastman said, just between us university of chicago chickens, is that right? >> i don't think that the university of chicago's going to start a chicago chickens fund-raising club, but yes, that is the terminology that he used. he said, you know, just between us chicago chickens, we will understand, as lawyers who have studied the constitution, that the underlying basis really is the same. >> i reserve the remainder of my time. >> thank you, mr. wood. mr. jacob, the president and the vice president meet again on that same topic, the next day, january 5th, correct? >> so, after my extended meeting with mr. eastman that morning, during that time, the vice president had been back at his residence, working on his statement to the nation that we released the next day. he got down to the white house
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at some point between 1:00 and 2:00 as my meeting with mr. eastman was wrapping up. and when we -- marc short and i went over to meet with the vice president and actually we thought maybe we had good news. we felt like we had sort of defeated mr. eastman, that he was sort of acknowledging that there was no there there, but the vice president was then asked down to the oval office, and he went down to the oval office while marc and i stayed back in the vice president's office. >> you weren't in that meeting? >> i was not. >> in the book "peril," journalists bob woodward and robert costa write that the president said, "if these people say you have the power, wouldn't you want to?" the vice president says, "i wouldn't want any one person to have that authority." the president responds, "but wouldn't it almost be cool to have that power?"
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vice president is reported to have said, "no, look, i've read this, and i don't see a way to do it. we've exhausted every option. i've done everything i could, and then some, to find a way around this. it's simply not possible. my interpretation is, no." to which the president says, "no, no, no, you don't understand, mike. you can do this. i don't want to be your friend anymore if you don't do this." we asked marc short about this during his deposition. >> not understanding that i would have, in other conversations with the vice president, he articulated to me that, no, he wouldn't want that power bestowed upon any one person. >> mr. jacob, did you, mr. short, and the vice president have a call later that
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day again with the president and dr. eastman? >> so, yes, we did. >> and what did dr. eastman request on that call? >> on that phone call, which i believe was around 5:00 that afternoon, mr. eastman stated that he had heard us loud and clear that morning, we were not going to be rejecting electors. but would we be open to considering the other course that we had discussed on the 4th, which would be to suspend the joint session and request that state legislatures re-examine certification of the electoral votes. >> that same day, january 5th, "the new york times" ran a story about the disagreement between the president and the vice president about whether the vice president could determine the outcome of the election. even though "the new york times" story was indisputably correct,
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donald trump denied it. donald trump issued a statement claiming that the vice president had agreed that he could determine the outcome of the election, despite the fact that the vice president had consistently rejected that position. let's look at what the president said in his statement. ""the new york times" report regarding comments vice president pence supposedly made to me today is fake news. he never said that. the vice president and i are in total agreement that the vice president has the power to act." mr. jacob, how did the vice president's team react to this statement from the president, that the vice president could take an active role in determining the winner of the presidential election? >> so, we were shocked and disappointed, because whoever had written and put that statement out, it was categorically untrue. >> vice president's chief of staff, marc short, had an angry phone call with trump campaign
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senior advisor jason miller about this statement. here's what mr. short and mr. miller told the committee about that call. >> tell me about the conversation you had with jason. >> it was brief. i was irritated and expressed displeasure that statement could have gone out, that misrepresented the vice president's viewpoint without consultation. >> the statement says the vice president and i are in total agreement. that the vice president has the power to kt. is that incorrect? >> i think the record shows that that's incorrect. >> yeah. >> i mean, we've been through many documents that clarify that this is not where the vice president was. >> right. so, essentially, the president's sending out a baldly false statement about being in alignment, purported alignment with the vice president, despite all of the predicate that you indicated had gone before about their respective positions.
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is that effectively what happened? >> i interpret the statement as false. i'll let you figure out who sent it out. >> when marc short contacted you, he was upset? is that what you said? >> he clearly was not pleased. >> tell us what he said. >> what's the process for putting out a statement for a meeting where only two people are were in the room? >> did he ask you to retract the statement? >> no. he just -- i think it went right to, what's the process for putting out a statement for a meeting when when only two people were in the room? >> and he clearly disagreed with the substance, though, right, because he said that the vice president doesn't agree with this? >> trying to think what exactly he said. i mean, the tone was very clearly that he -- he used some language to strongly infer that the vice president disagreed with that take, but i don't
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remember what that language was. >> did he dictate this statement? >> we -- he dictated most of it. i mean, typically, on these -- typically on these, i might have a couple of wording suggestions or maybe i'd, you know, have a sentence or a rough framework or something of that, but i know with specificity on this one that it was me and him on the phone talking through it, and ultimately, the way this came out was the way that he wanted to. >> the dispute between the president and the vice president had grown to the point where the vice president's chief of staff, marc short, was concerned that the president could, in mr. short's words, lash out at the vice president on january 6th. in fact, mr. short was so
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concerned about it that he talked with the head of the vice president's secret service detail on january 5th. here's mr. short. >> concern was for the vice president's security, and so i wanted to make sure the head of the vice president's secret service was aware that likely, as these disagreements more public, that the president would lash out in some way. >> after the recess, we will hear that marc short's concerns were justified. the vice president was in danger. mr. chairman, i reserve. >> pursuant to the order of the committee of today, the chair declares the committee in recess for a period of approximately ten minutes. >> all right, while the january 6th house select committee takes a ten-minute recess, let us review what we have learned in these few hours of testimony from top aides of vice president
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pence as well as noted conservative lawyer michael luttig, as well as others from the trumpworld circle. jamie gangel, it seems like they've painted a very clear picture that the vice president and his team were unanimously of the belief that he did not have the ability to just reject electors from states, and one note that i thought was really fascinating was when eric herschmann, one of our favorite testifiers from the trump white house counsel's office, relays a conversation that he had with john eastman, the attorney, who was pushing this unconstitutional theory, and says to him, you're going to cause riots in the streets. by pushing this. to which eastman said something to the effect of, there's been violence in the history of our country before. in other words, a foreshadowing
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of what exactly happened and from the guy who was at least partly responsible, a complete and utter expression of disregard about that violence. >> today's hearing may have been a little in the weeds for a lot of people, but what it did was it laid out, from firsthand fact witnesses, exactly what was going on in these meetings with john eastman and trump. you have greg jacob, the vice president's counsel, explaining he was in the room about the pressure that they were under, and it makes the point, as you said, about herschmann saying, you're going to cause riots in the street, that trump was warned over and over that this could lead to violence. >> and even warned by eastman himself, who said in a meeting, in front of the then-president, that the plan would require the
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vice president to violate federal law. period. so, not only did you have all these people you're talking about, jamie, you know, you had marc short, herschmann, rudy giuliani. >> jason miller. >> jason miller. who sounded different publicly from the way he did privately. and eastman himself kept sort of going back and forth and back and forth. what we haven't heard yet is -- and we may never know, because he's been pleading the fifth, but eastman has a meeting with pence's people, sort of hears them out, and then the next morning, he says, nah, you know, you really have to get rid of the -- these electors. >> yeah, and so what -- what transpired that night before that meeting the next day? >> this is the part of this that i think there's a little bit of subtext that was happening here. they almost made a bit of a joke about it, but i think it's important. the, just between you and me, you know, chickens or whatever,
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university of chicago law chickens, eastman was trying to kind of have a little bit of an inside pact here between himself and the vice president, saying, are you willing to do this? we all know that it's not constitutional, but are you willing to try it because i just don't think that the supreme court is going to weigh in? they're going to kick it back as a political question, and then if there's violence in the streets, let there be violence in the streets. i think the subtext of a lot of this was, a, eastman knew that this was not constitutional. but that he was trying to get everybody else to buy into the scheme, knowing that it was about deception, and knowing that it was unconstitutional because he believed that at the end of the day, that there would be no legal recourse. now, i don't think that that's true. i don't think that he would have been right, that there would be no consequence to this. but that's what he was trying to do. >> what strikes me, he mentions
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law school, and what struck me is his particular approach, he kept trying to say, in law school, we say, all right, let's change one fact and then see how it might change the actual outcome of the actual legal opinion. well, the one fact he wanted to change was the fact that a vice president might have plenary power, a phrase to suggest that he would have the ability as one person to decide the fate and who would be the next president of the united states and because this was not there available taugsly, he wanted to change that fact. how do you do that? back to the social media campaign. that's president trump making statements to make that so, to try to change that one fact narrative. and what should strike people is the idea of how thorough this all was. it wasn't just one knee-jerk reaction. everyone went back and forth and had the receipts to say, this is all ridiculous. >> and once you're -- once you lie and tell the big lie, you're caught in lies. the campaign statement saying the vice president and i are in total agreement, disputing "the new york times" story. that's a lie. they knew it was a lie when they put it out because pence had consistently, as we've heard
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from the testimony, gone through it. there's the law. i want to come back to the math too. this was just impossible. michigan, 154,000 votes. nevada, 33,000 votes. arizona, 10,000. georgia, nearly 12,000. wisconsin, 20,000. pennsylvania, 81,000. joe biden won. and he won by a margin that donald trump called a sland lied, 303-235, when he beat hillary clinton by the same margin. there was no math behind this, no law behind this, so they lied. >> i will say, i don't think al gore has ever looked better than today when it was pointed out over and over by pence attorneys that if al gore had done what trump tried to do and wanted pence to do, he could have declared himself the president. and al gore was quoted saying that there are things more important than one's own personal professional disappointments. there is the fate of the republic. when the hearing resumes, in just a few minutes, we're told house investigators will focus to the day of the insurrection. they're promising new information about vice president pence's actions that day as the mob stormed the capitol,
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. we are waiting for the january 6th select committee to resume its proceedings. we have been told by sources on the committee to expect chilling details on how close vice president mike pence and his family were to actual danger on the day of the insurrection aids say it will shed light on where he was hiding as the capitol was under attack. he was a specific target having been named a target according to pence's own chief of staff by then president donald trump. the committee members, democrat of mississippi, liz cheney, the advise chair, republican of wyoming. the other members of the committee were going to listen in as this third presentation of evidence to the person people is
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being made. this one led by california democrat pete aguilar well as a former republican u.s. attorney making the presentation, taking the testimony, let's listen in as benny thompson prepares to gavel in this third presentation of evidence as to what went wrong on january 6th. >> the committee will be in order. gentleman from california, mr. aguilar, is recognized. >> i'd now like to turn to the events of january 6th 2021, which turned out to be a fateful day in our nation's history. despite the fact the vice president consistently told the president that he did not have and would not want the power to decide the outcome of the presidential election. donald trump continued to
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pressure the vice president both publicly and privately. as you will hear, things reached a boiling point on january 6th and the consequences were disastrous in the middle of the night on january 5th into the morning of the 6th around 1:00 a.m., president trump tweeted at the have been meaning the comments and response to the president's tweet would also show up on the vice president's twitter feed. the tweet stated the vice president could quote come through for us and send it back to the states then around 8:00 a.m. on january 6th, president trump again tweeted, this time to say that the vice president could send it back to the states
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and and that we win and this is the time for extreme courage. mr. short told us during his deposition that the vice president started a meeting on january 6th in prayer. here is what mr. short said. >> we arrived at the vice president's residence as would often be the case, i would call knowing it would be an important day. we gathered in prayer and often
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that would be something the staff member would be, so it would have been just at that time, i believe the vice president and myself, greg and chris and we were just asked for guidance and wisdom knowing that the day was going to be a challenging one. >> mr. jacob, did you go to vice president's residences on the morning of january 6th? >> yes. >> who also was with you? >> mark short, devon o'malley our communications director and chris hodgson our ledges lative affairs director. >> did the vice president have a call with the president that morning? >> he di. >> were you with the vice president during the call? >> so we had been putting the, vice president had finalized his statement overnight. we were in the process of
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proving it so that we could get that out and we were told that a call had come in from the president. the vice president stepped out of the room to take that call and no staff went with him. the president had several family members with him in the oval that morning for that call. i'd like to show you what they and othersed is about that call along with the never-before-seen photographs with the president on that call from the national archives. >> when i got in, somebody called me and said, that the family and others were until of the and you might want to come up. so i went upstairs. >> who do you recall being in the oval office? >> don, jr., eric, laura, kimberly. meadows was there sought some point ivanka came in.
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>> it wasn't a specific formal discussion. it was very sort of loose and casual. >> so then you said at some point there is a telephone conversation between the president and the vice president? >> yes. >> when i entered the office a second time, he was on the telephone with, who i later found out to be the vice president. >> could you hear the vice president or only here the president's end? >> you could only here the president's end. at some point it started off as a calmer tone and became heated. >> the conversation was pretty heated. >> i think until it became somewhat louder tone, nobody was paying attention to it initially. >> did you hear any part of the phone call? just the end the president was speaking from? >> i did. yes. >> what did you hear? >> so as i was dropping off the note, my memory, i remember hearing the word win wimp. he called him a wimp. are you a wimp. you will be a wimp.
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wimp is the word i remember. >> is it reported the president said to the vice president that something to the effect of you don't have the courage to make a hard decision? >> i don't remember exactly, it was something like that. >> like being you are not tough enough to make the call. >> it was a different tone than i had with the vice president before. >> did he share details about what had happened in the oval office that morning? >> that her dad has just had an upsetting conversation with the vice president. >> do you recall anything during the meeting in dan scovino's office? >> i don't remember specifically. i mean i think she was uncomfortable over the fact there was that type of interaction between the two of them. >> something to the effect that this is what is wrong. i made the wrong decision four or five years ago. >> and the word that she relayed
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to you that the president called the vice president, i apologize for being impolite, do you remember what she said her father called him? >> the p-word. >> mr. jacob, how would you describe the demeanor of the vice president following call with the president? >> when he came back into the room, i'd say that he was stealy, determined, grim. >> of course, the most dangerous part of what donald trump did on january 6th was what he did, himself. as we discussed in detail in a future hearing, our investigation found that early drafts of the january 6th ellipse speech prepared for the president included no mention of the vice president but the
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president revised it to include criticism of the vice president and then further ad libbed. here's what the president said on january 6th after his call with vice president pence? >> i hope mike is going to do the right thing. i hope so i hope so. because if mike pence does the right thing, we win the election. all vice president pence has to do is send it back to the states to recertify and we bomb president and you are the happiest people and i actually, i just spoke to mike. i said, mike, that doesn't take courage. what takes courage is to do nothing, that takes courage and we are stuck with a president who lost the election by a lot. we have to live with that for four more years. we will not let that happen.
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mike pence will have to come through for us. if he doesn't, that will be a sad day for our country. they want to recertify their votes. they want to recertify, but the only way that can happen is if mike pence agrees to send it back. i hope he has the courage to do what he has to do and doesn't listen to the rinos and the stupid people that he is listening to. >> of course, we all know what happens next. the president's words had an effect. president trump's supporters became angry. when the vice president issued his public letter, the crowd at the capitol erupted in anger. the rioters who erected make-shift gallows began chanting hang mike pence. testimony has made clear what the target of the rioter's ire was, vice president mike pence. the rioters breached the capitol
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at 2:13 p.m. >> go, go, go! now let's take a look at what was going on at the white house at this time. the president's chief of staff mark meadows was notified of the violence at the capitol by 2:00 p.m. and likely earlier. the testimony firmly establishes mr. meadows quickly informed the president that he did so before the president issued his tweet criticizing vice president pence for not having quote courage to do what needed to be done. here's what the president wrote in his 2:24 p.m. tweet, while
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the violence at the capitol was going on. >> and here's what the rioters thought. >> he's a traitor and he deserves to burn with the rest of them. >> this all escalated after pence. pence didn't do what we wanted. pence voted against trump. that's where all this start ed? yep. that's when we marched on the capitol. we had been shot at with rubber bullets, teargassed. >> it's not going to change the electoral votes boo! >> that's right. mike pence has betrayed the united states of america. >> he betrayed the people of the
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united states and we will never, ever forget. >> it's real simple. pence betrayed us. which apparently everybody knew he was going to and the president mentioned it like five times when he talked. you can go back and watch the president's video. >> this is our capitol. let's be respectful to it. there is more million people coming in. >> it's only a matter of time, justice is coming. >> although the president's chief of staff mark meadows refused to testify, his aide, ben williamson and white house press secretary sarah matthews testified that mr. meadows went to the dining room near the oval office to tell the president about the violence at the capitol before the president's
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2:24 p.m. tweet. in future hearings, you will hear more about what exactly was happening in the white house at that time. but here's what some white house staff told the select committee. do you know where he went? >> yes, i followed him down the hallway and i followed him into the outer oval corridor, which is the hallway between the oval office hallway and the outer oval section of the oval office. i followed him into that corridor hallway. i saw him walk into our oval. i maybe took a step into our oval and left. it looked like he was headed in the direction of the oval office. >> yeah, we had all talked about at that point about how it was bad and the situation was getting out of hand and i know
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ben williamson and i were conferring and we thought that the president needed to tweet something and tweet something immediately. and i think when kaylee cave us that order of don't say anything to the media, i told her that, i thought the president needed to tweet something and then i remember and then i remember getting a notification on my phone and us i was sitting in a room with roma and ben. we all got a notification, so we knew it was a tweet from the president and we looked down and it was a tweet about mike pence. >> i believe i sent him a text saying we want to put out some sort of statement. because the situation was getting a little hairy over at the capitol and that it was
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common for after i would tech him i would just go down and see him in person. >> you went down to speak with mark meadows after this. what was that conversation? >> very breach. i went down and told him the same thing in the texts, other than i told him that. to my recollection, he immediately got up and left his off office. >> our investigation found immediately after the president's 2:24 p.m. tweet, the crowds both outside the capitol and inside the capitol surged. the crowds inside the capitol were able to overwhelm the law enforcement presence and the vice president was quickly evacuated from his ceremonial office to a secure location within the capitol complex by
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2:24 p.m., the secret service moved vice president mike pence from the senate chamber to his office across the hall. >> the noise became audible to which point we recognized maybe they had gotten into the building. >> then president trump tweeted mike pence didn't have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our country and our constitution, giving states a chance to certify a corrected set of fact, not the fraudulent or enact rat ones which they were asked to previously certify. usa demands the truth! >> it was clear it was escalating and escalating quickly. >> so then when that tweet, mike pence tweet was sent out, i remember us saying that that was the thing that needed to be
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tweeted at that moment. the situation was already bad. it felt like he was pouring gasoline on the fire when he tweeted that. >> 30 second later rioters opened the east rotunda hall down the hall. just 30 second after theyioters breached the crypt, below the vice president. >> the secret service couldn't control the situation of doing their job of keeping him sense. >> they rushed vice president pence down the stairs. >> i think they were trying to figure out whether they had a clear route to get us to where it was they wanted to move us to. >> we moved quickly down the stairs through various hallways and tunnels to a secure location. upon arriving there, there was further discussion whether we were going to leave the capitol complex or stay where we were. >> vice president pence and his time ultimately were led to a secure location, where they stayed for the next four-and-a-half hours. barely missing rioters, a few
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feet away. >> approximately 40 feet. that's all there was. 40 feet between the vice president and the mob. mr. jacob, you were there, seeing that for the first time, does it surprise you to see how close the mob was to the evacuation route you took? 40 feet is the distance from me to you, roughly? >> i could hear the den of the rioters in the building while we moved, but i don't think i was aware that they were as close as th that. >> make no mistake about the fact that the vice president's life was in danger. a recent court filing explains a confidential informant from the proud boys told the fbi the proud boys would have killed mike pence, if given the chance.
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whom if affidavit refers to as w1. stated other members talked about the things they did that day and said anyone they had their hands on they would have killed, including nancy pelosi. w-1 further stated that members of the proud boys say they would have killed mike pence if given the chance we understand the congressional leaders and others were evacuated from the capitol complex during the attack. we'd like to show you what happened after the vice president was evacuated from the senate. >> the select committee obtained never-before-seen photos from the national archives that shows vice president pence schellering in a secure underground situation as rioters overwhelmed the capitol. at 4:19 p.m., vice president pence is seen looking at a tweet the president had just sent asking the rioters to leave the capitol.
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after four-and-a-half hours, spent on working to restore order, the vice president returned to the senate floor to continue the certification of electors. >> so vice president pence was the focus of the violent attack. mr. jacob, did the vice president leave the capitol complex during the attack? >> he did not. >> could you please explain why the vice president refused to leave the capitol complex? >> when we got down to the secure location, secret service directed us to get into the cars, which i did. and then i noticed that the vice president had not. so i got out of the car that i had gotten into and i understood that the vice president had refused to get into the car. the head of his secret service detail tim had said, i assure you, we're not going to drive
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out of the building without your permission. the vice president said something to the effect of, tim, i know you, i trust you. but you are not the one behind the wheel. and the vice president did not want to take any chance that the world would see the vice president of the united states fleeing the united states capitol. he was determined that we would complete the work that we had set out to do that day, that it was his constitutional duty to see it through and that the rioters who had breached the capitol would not have the satisfaction of disrupting the proceedings beyond the day on which they were supposed to be completed. >> let me see if i understand this right. you were told to get in the cars. and how many of the vice president's staff got in the cars while he did not? >> most of us.
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>> dug our investigation, we received testimony while the vice president was in the capitol complex, he continued the business of government. we understand the vice president reached out to congressional leaders, like the acting secretary of defense and others to check on their safety and to addressing the growing crisis. in addition, the vice president's chief of staff mark short made several calls to senior government officials. here's mr. short's testimony regarding his call with representative kevin mccarthy. >> he indicated that he had had some conversation, i don't recall whether it was with the president or with somebody at the white house, but i think he expressed frustration that not taking the circumstances seriously as they should in that moment. >> so mr. mccarthy indicated he had been in touch with someone at the white house and he conveyed to you that they weren't taking this as seriously as they should? you have to answer yes --
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>> yes. >> okay. >> while the vice president made several calls to check on the safety of others, it was his own life that was in great danger. mr. jacob, did donald trump ever call on vice president pence to check on his safety? >> he did not. >> how did vice president pence and mrs. pence react to that? >> with frustration. >> mr. jacob, immediately before you and the vice president were evacuated to a secure location within the capitol, you hit send on an e-mail to john eastman explaining why his legal theory about the vice president's role was wrong. you edit your e-mail by stating that, quote, thanks to your bullishit, we are now under siege. we'll take a look at that e-mail. now, dr. eastman replied, this is hard to believe, his reply
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back to you was, the siege is because you and your boss presumably were referring to the vice president of the united states did not do what was necessary to allow this to be aired in a public way so the american people could see for themselves what happened. mr. jacob, later that day you wrote to dr. eastman. let's show that e-mail on the screen. in that e-mail, you wrote, and i quote, did you advise the president that in your professional judgment, the vice president does not have the power to decide things unilaterally and you ended that e-mail saying, it does not appear the president ever got the memo. dr. eastman then replied, he's been so advised. he ends his e-mail with, quote, you know him, once he gets
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something in his head, it's hard to get him to capping course, closed quote. mr. jacob, when dr. eastman wrote, it's hard to get something in his head, it's hard to change course. did you understand "he" in that e-mail to refer to the president of the united states? >> i did. >> and mr. jacob, did you hear from dr. eastman further after the riot had been quelled? and, if so, what did he ask? >> late that evening, after the joint session had been reconvened, the vice president had given a statement to the nation saying violence was not going to win. freedom wins and that the people are going to get back to doing their work. later that evening, mr. eastman e-mailed me to point out that in his view, the vice president's speech to the nation violated
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the electoral count act, that the electoral count act had been violated because debate on arizona had not been completed in two hours. of course, it couldn't be, since there was an intervening riot of several hours. and that the speeches that the majority and minority leaders had been allowed to make also violated the electoral count act, because they hasn't been counted against the debate time. then he implored me now that we have established that the electoral count act isn't so s sacrisanct you made it out to be, i implore you one last time can the vice president please do what he has been able to do, the last two days, suspend the session, send it back to the states. >> we'll show you the text of that e-mail dr. eastman wrote at 11:44 p.m. january 6th. so after the attack on the capitol and after law
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enforcement had secured the capitol, he still wrote as you described, quote, so now that the precedent has been set that the electoral count act is not quite so sacrosanct as was previously claimed, i impro you to consider one more relatively minor violation and adjourn for 10 days to allow the legislatures to finish their investigations. >> soempb e even after the attack had within kweld, dr. eastman requested in writing, no less, that the vice president violate the law by delaying the certification and sending the question back to the states, is that correct, mr. jacob? >> it is. >> did you eventually share d. eastman's proposal with vice president pence? >> not right at that time. because the vice president was completeing the work that it was his duty to do. but a day or two later, back at the white house, i did show him
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that final e-mail from mr. eastman. >> what was vice president pence's reaction when you showed him the e-mail, where dr. eastman after the attack on the capitol still asked that the vice president delay certification and send it back to the states? >> he said, that's rubber room stuff. >> i'm sorry, mr. short. >> he said it's rubber room stuff? >> yes, congressman. >> what did you interpret that to mean? >> i understood it to mean that after having seen it play out, what happens when you convince people there is a decision to be made in the capitol about who is to be the president and the consequences of that he was still pushing us to do what he had been asking us to do for the previous two days, that that was certifiably crazy.
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>> we know that the vice president did not do what dr. eastman requested, because he presided over the completion of the counting of electoral votes late in that evening. >> a number of electors appointed to vote for president of the united states is 538. within that whole number, a majority is 270. the votes for president of the united states are as follows. joseph r. biden, jr., of the state of delaware has received 306 votes. donald j. trump from the state of florida has received 232 votes. the whole number of electors appointed to vote for vice president of the united states is 538. within that whole number, a majority is 270. the votes for vice president of the united states are as follows. kamela b. harris of the state of california has received 306 votes. michael r. pence of the state of
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indiana has received 232 votes. the announcement of the state of the vote by the president of the senate shall be deemed a sufficient declaration of the person's elected president and vice president of the united states. each for the term beginning on the 20th day of january, 2021. and sham be entered together with the list of the votes on the journals of the senate and the house of representatives. >> mr. jacob, we heard earlier that you and the vice president and the team started january 6th with a prayer. you faced a lot of danger that day. and this is a personal question. but how did your faith guide you on january 6th? >> my faith really sustained me through it. i got in the secure location,
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pulled out my bible, read through it. and i just took great comfort. daniel 6 is where i went. and in daniel 6, daniel has become the second in xhocommand babylon, a pegen nation. he refuses an order from the king that he cannot follow and he does his duty in consistent with his oath to god and i thought that that's what had played out that day. >> it spoke to you? >> yes. >> at the end of the day, marc short sent the vice president a text message with a bible verse. here's what he told the select committee. >> in the morning, we finallied a adjourned and headed our ways,
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i remember texting vice president a passage from 2nd tim chi chapter 4 verse 7 that i had not the good fight. i finished the race. i kept the faith. >> he started his day with a prayer and ended his day with a bible verse. not the good fight. i finished the race. i've kept the faith. white house attorney eric hirschman testified that the next day january 6th, he received a call from dr. eastman. here is mr. hirschman's account of that call. >> the day after eastman, i don't remember why he called me and he or he texted me or called me. ed to talk with me. he said he couldn't reach others
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and he started to ask me about something about georgia preserving something potentially for appeal. and i said to him, are you out of your f'ing mind? i said, i only want to hear two words coming out of your mind for now on. orderly transition. i don't want to hear any other f'ing words coming out of your mind other than orderly transition. repeat those word to me. eventually, he said, orderly transition. i said, good, john. now i'm going to give you the best free legal advice you are getting in your life. get a great f'ing criminal defense lawyer. you're going to need it. and i hung up on him. >> in fact, just a few days later, dr. eastman e-mailed rudy guiliani and requested he be included on a list of potential
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recipients of a presidential pardon. dr d. eastman's e-mails stated, i decided i should be on the pard him list, if that is still in the works. dr. eastman did not receive his presidential pardon. so let's see what dr. eastman did as a result when he was deposed by this committee. >> i assert my fifth amendment right against compelling a witness against myself. >> the i'd the trump legal team ask you to prepare a memorandum in the role of counting electoral votes january 6ment, 2021? >> dr. eastman, did you reject elect tore from seven states and declare that the president had been -- >> fifth. >> dr. eastman, the first sentence of the memo starts off by saying, seven states have
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transmitted slates of electors to the president of the senate. is that statement in this note true? >> fifth. >> did president trump authorize you to discuss publicly on january 24th, 2021 conversation with him? >> fifth. >> so is it your position that you can discuss an immediate direct conversation you have with the president of the united states, but you will not discuss those same conversations with this committee? >> fifth. >> dr. eastman pled the fifth 100 times. finally, let's hear from a federal court judge. the only one to date who has opined on whether the president was involved in criminal activity. page 36, judge carter's ruling says, quote, based on the evidence, the court find it more likely than not that president trump corruptly attempted to
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obstruct the joint session of congress on january 6th, 2021. page 40 of the ruling says, quote, based on the evidence, the court finds that it is more likely than not that president trump and dr. eastman dishonestly conspired to obstruct the joint session of congress on january 6th, 2021. and page 44, dr. eastman and president trump launched a campaign to overturn a democratic election an action unprecedented in american history. their campaign was not confined to the ivory tower. it was a coup in search of a legal theory. mr. jacob, what would have happened to our democracy if vice president pence had gone along with this plan an certified donald trump as the winner of the 20 election? >> so there would have been short-term and long-term effects. the short-term i previously
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described, a constitutional jumpball situation, political chaos in washington. lawsuits, and who knows what's happened in the streets and you would have had the vice president of the united states having declared that the outcomes of these state elections were incredibility. so for all of those reasons, there would have been significant short-term consequences. but in the long term, we would have established a situation where a vice president would have asserted that one person can have the authority to determine the outcome of an election, which is antithetical to everything in our democracy. it's antithetical to the rule of law. and so it would have been significant impacts both in the short and the long term. >> judge luttig, in the
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statement you released earlier today, you wrote the efforts by president trump to overturn the 2020 election were quote the mosting areless, insidious and calamitious failures in political judgment in american history. what did you mean by that? >> exactly what i said, congressman. >> thank you, judge. thank you, mr. jacob. mr. chairman. i yield back. >> gentleman, i'm sorry. >> i'm sorry, mr. chairman, i want that back. >> mr. chairman this was an informative hearing. a powerful hearing.
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i am grateful for your leadership and the leadership of the distinguished vice chair. donald trump knew he lost the 2020 election but could not bring himself to participate in the peaceful transfer of power. so he latched on to a scheme that, once again, he knew was illegal and when the vice president refused to go along with it, he unleashed a violent mob against him. when we began, i asked how we got to this place and i think the answer to that question starts with the fact that people in positions of power put their political party before their country. we cannot be allowed to continue. i yield back now, mr. chairman. >> thank you, very much. without objection, the chair recognizes gentle woman from wyoming liz cheney for closing statement. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. thank you to my colleagues,
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representative aguilar and very much to our wrnss today, mr. jacob and judge luttig. thank you for being here with us. we have seen so far in our hearings that president trump knew that his claims of a stolen election were false. you have seen a new that mike pence could not refuse to count electoral votes and you have seen what president trump did to pressure mike pence into taking illegal action. over the course of our next hearings, you will see information about president trump's efforts, john eastman efforts, the trump legal e legal team's efforts, to apply pressure to state legislatures, state officials and others. judge carter has recently written, quote, dr. eastman's actions in these few weeks indicate that his and president trump's pressure campaign to stop the electoral count did not end with vice president pence. it targeted every tier of federal and state elected
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officials. we will examine all of those threats and we will examine the trump team's determination to transmit materially false electoral slates from multiple states to officials of the executive and legislative branches of our government. we will examine the pressure put on state legislatures to convene, reverse lawful election results. an honorable man receiving the information and advice that mr. trump received from his campaign experts and his staff, a man who loved his country more than himself, would have conscon conconceded this election. a number of his aids convinced him to do so. we will release these details in the coming weeks. mr. chairman, i yield back. >> the lady yields back.
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judge luttig, mr. jacob, our nation owes you a great debt for your knowledge, integrity and your loyalty to our constitution. you and vice president pence are exactly the people our nation needed at a critical time. you had the courage to do what was right. in the weeks leading up to january 6th, many people failed this test when they had to choose between their oath to the country or the demands of donald trump. where there were others, who, like you, stood tall in the face of intimidation and put democracy first. they include the judges who rejected the bogus claims of election fraud, the senior justice department officials, who stood up to donald trump and the state officials whom we will
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hear from in our next hearing. we are deeply grateful to your courage and devotion to our country. there are some who think the danger has passed. that even though there were violence and a corrupt attempt to overturn the presidential election, the system worked. i looked at it another way. our system nearly failed and our democratic foundation destroyed. but for people like you. judge luttig, i want to give you an opportunity to share your thoughts on the ongoing threat. you have written the clear and present danger to our democracy. now is that former president donald trump and other political allies appear prepared to seize the presidency in 2024, if mr. trump or one of his anointed candidates is not elected by the
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american people. what do you mean by this? >> mr. chairman, i am honored beyond words by your words. i was honored on january 6th 2021. then i was so honored beyond words to have been able to come to the aid of vice president mike pence i prayed that day just like the vice president prayed that day i believe we may
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have prayed the same prayer to the same god. i prayed that same prayer with my wife this morning before i came into these hearings. i have written, as you said, chairman thompson, that today almost two years after that fateful day in january 2021, that still donald trump and his allies and support ers are a
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clear and present danger to american democracy. that's not because of what happened on january 6th. it's because to this very day the former president, his allies and support ers pledge that in presidential election of 2024 if the former president or is
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amean ameant toed successor as the republican party, presidential candidate were to lose that election that they would attempt to overton that 2024 election in the same way they attempted to overturn the 2020 election but succeed in 2024 where they failed in 2020. i don't speak those words likely. i would have never spoken those words ever in me life except
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that that's what the former president and his allies are telling us. as i said in that "new york times" op-ed, wherein i was speaking about the electoral count act of 1887, the former president and his allies are executesing that blue print for 2024 in open and plain view of the american public. i repeat, i would have never uttered one single one of those
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words unless the former president and his allies were ca candidly and proudly speaking those exact words to america. chairman, thank you for the opportunity to appear here today at these proceedings. >> thank you again, judge lutic. as a part of the select committee's charge to make recommendations that are informed by other investigative findings, we will be reviewing the views shared by judge luttig and other experts on potential improvements to the electoral count act among a range of other
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initiatives. i know the information we presented over the last week is shocking. the idea that a president of the united states would orchestrate a scheme to stay in power after the people have voted him out of office. we're able to present this information because so many witnesses have cooperated with our -- the fact is there are more people with direct knowledge of the evidence germane to our investigation. i asked those who might be on the fence about cooperating, to reach out to us. the committee's website address is being displayed behind me. january 6t
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and despite how you might not think it's important, send us what you think. and i think those who sent us evidence for their bravery and patriotism, without objections, members will be permitted ten business days to submit statements for the record, including opening remarks and additional questions for the witnesses. the chair requests those in the hearing room remain seated until the capitol police have escorted members in the room. without objection, the committee stands adjourned. >> and you heard the preparation of evidence by the january 6th house committee has gavelled to a close today, thursday. what a hearing it was in which members of the vice president's
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own team, mike pence's own team detailed just how much they disagreed with what donald trump was trying to pressure mike pence to do in terms of overturning the election and members of the committee made it very clear just how close they feel american democracy came to being completely obliterated a year-and-a-half ago and how close it remains in terms of the peril of a free and fair election. jamie gangel, a lot of news made during this hearing and we really had a clear villain not only in the presentation of what donald trump was telling mike pence to do, which was unconstitutional and illegal, but also what attorney john eastman was advising trump to do and pence to do up to the point in which he was asked for a presidential pardon because of what, the role he had played. >> absolutely.
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then we saw him. we know actually he took the fifth more than 100 times, but we saw for the first time video of his deposition where he took the fifth over and over again. the other thing that i was, found fascinating was we have known there was a phone call between donald trump and then vice president pence, the morning of january 6th. it's the last ditch effort where trump is trying to pressure pence to help him overturn the election. if i thought it was extraordinary because we see recordings. these are all trump insiders. these are young aides and staffers, nick luna, the bobby man, sara mathews who i believe worked in the press office, describe it what it was like. nick luna, i remember hearing the word wimp.
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pete kellogg, who was a trump loyalist saying it was a different tone, ivanka holes her chief of staff. her dad had a conversation as president. >> why don't we run that video? we do have that excerpt of them talking about specifically the phone call between donald trump and mike pence on the morning of january 6th after pence made it clear, he is not going to bend to trump's pressure campaign to undermine and overrule. >> involving the oval office. >> don, jr., eric, lawyer remarks kimberly. >> wait, meadows was there? >> at some point ivanka came in. >> when i entered the office the second time, he was on the telephone with who i later found out to be was the vice president. >> it started it off as a calmer tone and everything became heated. >> the conversation was pretty
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heated. >> i remember hearing the word wimp. either he called him a wimp. he said you are a wimp, you will be a wimp. wimp is the word i remember. >> it was a different tone than i heard him take with the vice president before. >> do you remember what she said her father called him? >> the p word. >> so that, in fact, the word was not wimp. it was pussee that donald trump was calling vice president pence. >> sarah mathews then goes on to describe the riot is going on and that the phones, their phones go off and they realize that trump has tweeted and it turns out what he's tweeted is, he is going after mike pence again and sarah mathews says, she thought he was pouring gasoline on the fire. >> he was. he was pouring gasoline on the fire. >> something we learned today is
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how real concern, not that we are surprised by it, honestly, but how little concern the and the vice president's family. we learned they never got a phone call, which we knew. but greg jacobs said, when asked, how did the vice president's family feel about it? the answer, which i'm sure is understated, was frustrated. >> yeah. >> and then you also saw, and this is what the committee is trying to do, is to draw a direct line between trump's unwillingness to sort of go to the rioters and say, stop what you're doing, draw a direct line to that, from the way he behaved to mike pence, and they did that. i think they really -- i think they really did that to him. >> in fact, let's roll that tape. they really tried to draw a direct line between the negative things that donald trump is saying about mike pence, and how the crowd is receiving that information, that direction in realtime. let's roll that.
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>> he's a traitor and he deserves to burn with the rest of them. pence voted against trump. and that's when all this started. yep, that's when we marched on the capitol. >> mike pence is not going to reject any fraudulent elector votes. mike pence has betrayed this president, and he has betrayed the people of the united states, and we will never, ever forget! >> the point being made, obviously, that this was -- this was not just inspired, this was directed. >> yeah, it was directed. and everybody knew it. i mean, trump knew his social media feed was a direct conduit to his supporters. that's how they interpreted it. they were watching their phones carefully to see what trump was saying at the time. we saw in the previous hearings, when they were reading the tweets to the crowd, and you heard congressman aguilar saying today, as that 2:24 p.m. tweet
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was being read, the crowd inside the capitol and outside the capitol surged. surged forward, overwhelming capitol police officers and others, who were there defending it. meanwhile, the vice president was being escorted out, and we learned today came within 40 feet of rioters inside the capitol. it was a near, near miss. >> and let's put up the photos, if we can, these are new photos we got, john king, from the committee, which is the vice president, i believe he is underground, underneath the u.s. capitol in what looks like something of a loading dock, and he's tending to the business of the governance that the president of the united states was not doing, checking to make sure that members of congress were okay, that leaders of okay were okay, check 2ing in with t acting defense secretary. really stark when you think how safe and secure donald trump was. interesting, the rioters never targeted the white house. >> no, the rioters were
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targeting the vice president, and the speaker of the house and every other person in that building, including staff and law enforcement and the janitor, the clerks, there trying to do their job, on that day, it was supposed for a celebration, an important ceremony in our democracy. that's what that event has always been, you count the electoral votes and you have a ritual. what did donald trump do? on the 5th, he was told again, the vice president is not going to do this. he calls his family -- while his family is in the oval office, he calls the vice president using the disparaging language. and then he gives the speech, after being told again by mike pence, i'm not going to do it, he gives the speech which he calls out mike pence he then tells to go to the capitol. and then the most striking part to me, after the riot, mike pence refuses to leave, because he thought what signal would that send to the country, to see the vice president fleeing these proceedings? they come back in to finish the
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business, and john eastman asks him again, even after the violence, john eastman emails saying hey, how about one more shot at this as the midnight hour approaches, despite the law, despite the politics, and then despite an attack on the country. they kept pushing, they kept pushing to cheat, to steal, to break the law. >> and on the mike pence point, we learned today that early drafts of the president's speech didn't have any mention of the vice president. and then the president revised it, and then he further ad libbed, taking on mike pence, knowing what that would mean. >> it's the direct quotes, so after the attack, eastman emails attorney greg jacob who provided this email to the committee, to consider one more relatively minor violation of the electoral act, to push him to undermine the election. he reads that email to pence, pence's response, according to
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greg jacob, that's rubber room stuff, meaning that is certifiably crazy. >> not so crazy that'smeastman didn't know he was doing something wrong and said i should be on the pardon list. so he did have some sense. i just want to talk to the point about connecting that mike pence was really in danger. congressman aguilar quoted from some court documents in the cases against the proud boys. this is a witness who is not identified by name the, i'm pair frizzing here. but basically he said, the proud boys would have killed the vice president if given the chance. anyone they would have gotten their hands on, they would have killed, including nancy pelosi. this was a dangerous situation. >> that's one of the things that is so galling, when people in
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the conservative media or republicans in congress who were, by photographic evidence, terrified that day, when they belittle the impact of this. this was an attack on democracy, without question. an attempt to undermine an election. and also people died, and it could have been by intent, so much worse. >> i think a lot of the conservatives really focus on the fact that a lot of trump supporters died. but that is actually also proof that this whole scheme was a deadly scheme. people were lured to washington based on a lie that everyone knew was a lie, including trump. let's not forget that today we learned that trump was in a meeting with john eastman and with pence's aides in which he was told, and eastman acknowledged, that all of this was illegal. and yet two case later, he stood in the ellipse and he pointed his supporters towards his own vice president. i mean, they knew what they were
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doing was a lie and people died because of it. not only, you know, capitol police officers who died in the aftermath of the riot. but trump's own supporters lost their lives. there's absolutely no remorse for any of that in the conservative corner. >> they keep doing it. >> they want it to happen more. one other note with john eastman pleading the fifth in his deposition with the january 6th committee, which he did more than 100 times, i'm going to read donald trump, who once said, you see the mob takes the fifth. if you're innocent, why are you taking the fifth amendment? wolf? >> very important day indeed. more than 2 1/2 hours of this hearing, the third hearing. there's more to come. we learned a lot today. and george conley, let me get your reaction to one of the most newsy developments we got, that john eastman, this attorney that was advising the ten prhen pres of the united states, he was beginning to believe that maybe he did commit an illegal act and
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wanted his name on that pardon list. he never received a pardon, but he did when he was testifying, more than 100 times say this, plead the fifth. watch this. we're going to get that clip ready. we heard it before. >> yeah, we heard it before. >> what was your reaction? >> it goes to show that he knew what he was advocating what illegal. he admitted in front of all the people who were meeting with the president. and what strikes me as it's not just his criminality established here, but donald trump's criminal intent being established. on monday, it was about the facts. it was about how barr testified that trump didn't care about what the facts were. he had no interest in what the actual facts were. donahue testified that no matter somewhat theory he threw, no
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matter -- today it was about trump's refusal to believe what people were telling him. that this was illegal. i think judge lutti g, in his written statement, he talks about trump's ability to steal the 2020 presidential election, and he makes the point in his written statement, he doesn't talk about criminal, but he says willful ig nornlnorance of the neither excuse or defense. and while willful ignorance is neither legal excuse available to a former president of the united states. [ overlapping speakers ] it was striking. at the end of the hearing, he's
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saying trump is a clear and present danger, by talking about willful ignorance, and you combine it by what we saw on wednesday, he's talking about the criminality of donald trump. >> jeffrey toobin, we have the clip of john eastman, who was a personal lawyer to the president, repeatedly telling the then vice president, mike pence, go ahead and do certain illegal acts, violate the u.s. constitution, undermine democracy. and he suspected he himself may be committing a crime, eastman, and the result when he was questioned by the committee, he went through more than 100 times pleading the 5th amendment. listen to this. >> i assert my fifth amendment right against being compelled to be a witness against myself. fifth, fifth, fifth, fifth. >> dr. eastman pled the fifth a hundred times.


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