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Jan. 6 Commission’s 3rd hearing focuses on pressure Pence faced to overturn presidential election

Capitol Riot Investigation
Posted at 7:59 AM, Jun 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-16 16:06:49-04

The House Jan. 6 Commission held its third of eight hearings Thursday, focusing on the pressure then-Vice President Mike Pence faced from then-President Donald Trump and campaign attorney John Eastman to stop the certification of Electoral College votes.

Thursday’s hearing includes two witnesses — Greg Jacob, an attorney who worked for Pence, and Michael Luttig, a retired federal judge who served as an informal adviser to Pence.

Jacob outlined Eastman's attempts to convince Pence to reject the Electoral College electors or send the electors back to the states.

"I told him (Eastman) if the courts did not step in, there was no one else to resolve it, that might well be resolved through violence in the streets," Jacob said about Eastman's plant to send electors back to the states.

Jacob said Eastman acknowledged the plan would ultimately fail, even if Pence followed along.

"I said, 'John, if the vice president did what you were asking him to do, we would lose 9-0 in the Supreme Court, wouldn't we?...After some further discussion, [he] acknowledged, 'Well, yeah you're right,'" Jacob said.

But he did say Eastman wavered, saying the courts would not get involved in a legal question.

Pence became a target for rioters during the Jan. 6 insurrection. Video from the insurrection showed rioters chanting “hang Mike Pence” after Trump decried Pence for not rejecting electors. The committee said the rioters were within 40 feet of Pence.

Even after the Capitol was cleared, Eastman wrote in an email to Jacob that Pence still had an opportunity to stop the Electoral College count.

Jacob said he told Pence about the email, who essentially wrote it off as crazy.

The committee showed Eastman being questioned by the committee and pleading the fifth.

Eastman also wrote an email, which was shown Thursday, requesting a pardon.

"I've decided that I should be on the pardon list, if that is still in the works," the email to Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani.

Eastman did not receive a pardon before Trump left office.

Rep. Liz Cheney, the commission’s vice-chair and one of two Republicans on the panel, said the pressure Trump applied on Pence “likely violated” two federal crimes.

“President Trump had no factual basis for what he was doing, and he had been told it was illegal,” Cheney said. “Despite this, President Trump plotted with a lawyer named John Eastman and others to overturn the outcome of the election on Jan. 6.”