Jan. 6 hearing updates: Pence resisted Trump’s pressure to reject electoral votes

Two witnesses stand and raise their right hands in the hearing room.
Susan Walsh
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AFP via Getty Images
Witnesses sworn in to the Jan. 6 hearing Thursday are, from right, federal Judge J. Michael Luttig, who advised former Vice President Mike Pence on his role in the election certification proceedings, and Greg Jacob, who was the chief counsel to the vice president at the time.

Then-Vice President Mike Pence faced relentless pressure from President Donald Trump to overturn the 2020 presidential election results, but stood firm against doing so, witnesses told the House committee looking into the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Committee Chair Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said Pence was pressed "to go 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.”

But Greg Jacob, an attorney for Pence, testified that the then-vice president "never budged from the position" that it was impossible for one person to "unilaterally decide" who would be president.

It was the third of seven hearings expected this month to present evidence from the committee's months-long investigation into the connection between Trump's voter fraud conspiracy claims and the insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021.

Before the hearing began, committee leaders said they want to invite Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, to speak to the panel. The Washington Post reported that the committee has evidence of Ginni Thomas communicating with lawyer John Eastman about overturning the 2020 election. Thomas told the Daily Caller she would “look forward” to speaking with the panel.

  • Pence was in personal danger: A confidential informant from the far-right Proud Boys told the FBI that the group "would have killed Mike Pence if given the chance," according to a court filing shared by the committee. Pence was just 40 feet away from the rioters during the Capitol insurrection, the panel revealed.
  • Pence's legal role in the election count: Jacob testified that the vice president did not consider it his role legally to decide the election. “There was no way that our framers … would ever have put one person, particularly not a person who had a direct interest in the outcome … in a role to have decisive impact on the outcome of the election," he said. Jacob said Trump ally Eastman admitted the Supreme Court would reject his plan to have Pence reject electoral votes. Retired federal Judge J. Michael Luttig testified that there was "no support whatsoever" in either the Constitution nor in U.S. laws for the vice president "frankly, ever to count alternative electoral slates from the states that had not been officially certified."
  • Seeking a presidential pardon: Eastman emailed Trump personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani seeking a preemptive pardon for his role in what occurred, according to evidence presented by the committee. Eastman did not receive a pardon.