Pence told Trump he could not reject votes

WASHINGTON – Former Vice President Mike Pence’s refusal to single-handedly reject electoral votes on Jan. 6, 2021, as former President Donald Trump pressured him to do, will be the subject of the Thursday House hearing investigating the Capitol attack.

The latest: 

  • Pence: electoral count rejection ‘illegal’: Marc Short, chief of staff to former Vice President Mike Pence, says Pence told former President Donald Trump “many times” that any plan to have Pence reject electoral votes was illegal.
  • Federal judge: Trump’s order would have been ‘tantamount to revolution’: Federal Judge J. Michael Luttig told the Jan. 6 Committee that had Pence obeyed orders from Trump on Jan. 6, declaring Trump the presidential election winner, it would have “plunged America” into what he says would’ve been “tantamount to a revolution within a constitutional crisis.”
  • The vice president ‘cannot possibly’ choose the president: Greg Jacob, counsel to Pence, said that while the Electoral Count Act includes “ambiguous” text, “common sense and structure would tell you” that it “cannot possibly be” that a vice president would have the authority to choose the U.S. president under the Constitution.
  • Hannity ‘very worried: ‘Fox News’ Sean Hannity told White House chief of staff Mark Meadows in text messages of his concerns around Jan. 6. On Dec. 31, he wrote, “I do NOT see January 6 happening the way he is being told.” And on Jan. 5, he texted that he was “very worried about the next 48 hours.”
  • An intense effort to lean on Pence: Rep. Pete Aguilar said the Jan. 6 committee found that by Jan. 4, Trump had “engaged in a quote multi-week campaign to pressure the Vice President to decide the outcome of the election.” It involved private conversations, a meeting with Congress and tweets from the president.
  • Trump lawyer John Eastman’s strategy: Eastman “acknowledged” that his proposals would violate provisions of the Electoral Count Act, Pence’s former legal counsel Greg Jacobs said, adding that Eastman thought this was OK because he viewed the act as unconstitutional.

What to expect out of today’s hearing:Trump raised millions to fight election fraud before Jan. 6. Here’s how that money was spent.

Former Vice President Mike Pence in a video during the opening public hearing of the committee to investigate the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol. After a year-long investigation, the committee will hold eight public hearings to reveal their findings.

Pence’s Chief of Staff was concerned for Pence’s safety in the days before Jan. 6

As the rift between Trump and Pence grew due to their disagreements about Pence’s ability to overturn the election, Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, became concerned for Pence’s safety.

Short was worried enough to consult the Secret Service.

“The 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 became more public, that the President would lash out in some way,” he said in a videotaped deposition the committee played Thursday.

– Kenneth Tran

Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, speaks with members of the media outside the White House, Nov. 19, 2019, in Washington.

Pence aide warned election may be “decided in the streets”

George Jacob, lawyer to Vice President Mike Pence, said he told Trump lawyer John Eastman that following his plan of action may have created an unwinnable standoff between Trump and Pence.

Jacob said if the issue went to the Supreme Court but the Supreme Court decided not to take it up, it would have left the country in a state of limbo, something he called a “constitutional jump ball.”

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