Capitol Storm Committee: New Details on Trump and Pence

On January 6, 2021, witnesses revealed new details about the chaotic hours of the day in the Capitol attack investigative committee.

An adviser to then US Vice President Mike Pence, Greg Jacob, described during a public hearing on Thursday (local time) how Pence, despite the violence at Congress headquarters against the advice of his bodyguards, refused to leave the seat – not for a picture of how the country’s vice president “Escapes” from Congress. According to the committee’s findings, rioters became dangerously close to Pence at that time. Several witnesses also reported a hot telephone conversation between U.S. President Donald Trump and his deputy in the hours before the attack.

Trump supporters attacked the parliament headquarters in Washington on January 6, 2021. Congress met there to formally confirm the electoral victory of Trump’s democratic challenger Joe Biden. The violent crowd wanted to prevent this. During this time, Pence chaired congress as vice president – a legally purely ceremonial task. Trump had previously openly called on his deputy to block the procedure – to help him win the elections later.

Just before the attack on the Capitol, Trump once again incited his supporters at a rally that his election victory had been stolen. The Republican also clearly incited his followers against Pence. Meanwhile, they looked for a vice president in the building, whom they called a traitor, and threatened to hang him as he did not interfere with Biden’s confirmation. The committee is working on the outbreak of the violence at the time.

According to the panel’s findings, the brutal attackers got surprisingly close to Pence: when the Secret Service brought the Vice President to safety, he was sometimes only about twelve yards from the rioters.

Jacob, who was accompanying Pence at the time, said his boss was determined to complete the certification of the elections that had begun. He saw it as a “constitutional obligation” to see it through to completion. Therefore, Pence stayed in a safe place on the Capitol grounds for many hours, and then returned from there to the Senate Chamber. “There was no way the vice president was willing to risk the world seeing the vice president of the United States flee the Capitol,” he said.

Committee: Trump did not ask for Pence’s safety

When asked if at any point Trump called Pence to ask if he was safe, Jacob replied, “He didn’t.” Pence was “frustrated.”

In video excerpts from the taped interviews, several witnesses also described a very tense phone conversation between Trump and Pence that morning, during which the then president used a lot of profanity. “The conversation was quite hot,” said Trump’s daughter Ivanka. A then-Trump adviser, who was at the Oval Office with Ivanka Trump and others while talking to the president, said: “I heard the word lusche.” Another employee reported that Trump called his deputy “fluff”.

Trump also tweeted during the attack, openly complaining that Pence was not acting on his behalf. A White House Press Office official said, “I felt this tweet was adding fuel to the fire.”

No evidence – Trump continues to talk about electoral fraud

To this day, Trump claims without evidence that he was stripped of his 2020 presidential election by election fraud. For weeks now, he tried the most questionable methods, including dozens of lawsuits, to overturn Biden’s electoral victory. He finally saw Pence as his last chance to reverse the election result.

At the commission meeting, Jacob and other Pence and Trump advisers dismissed the attempts as absurd and illegal. Jacob said the audit at the time showed that there was “no reasonable basis to conclude” that the vice president had the power to exercise such influence. Former Conservative judge Michael Luttig, who also advised Pence on the matter, said that if Pence had heeded Trump’s call at the time, it would plunge America into “revolution” and “constitutional crisis.” Former White House attorney Eric Herschmann called Trump’s idea “completely crazy.”

Luttig warned that Trump and his supporters continued to pose a threat to American democracy. They have already announced that in the presidential election in 2024 they will try to overturn the election results again if they do not present it as they wish.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 220616-99-682661 / 7

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