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Jan 6 hearings – live: Trump pressured Pence and brought US ‘dangerously close to catastrophe’, panel hears

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Jan 6 hearings: Ivanka Trump recalls father’s called Pence ‘a wimp’ in final call
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LIVE – Updated at 07:45

Bombshell testimony regarding a pressure campaign by Donald Trump and law professor John Eastman to get former vice president Mike Pence to overturn the 2020 election featured in the third public hearing of the January 6 House select committee on Thursday.

The committee has sought to demonstrate Mr Trump knew he lost the election but “oversaw a scheme” to overturn the result “when the vice president refused to go along with it” and that “he [Mr Trump] unleashed a violent mob against Pence at the Capitol”.

Members of Mr Trump’s family and staff testified about a “heated” call with Mr Pence that morning, after which the president rewrote his rally speech with sharp lines about his vice president.

He later sent a tweet causing angry rioters to surge forward, with some coming within 40ft of Pence as he was evacuated.

The day after the failed attempt to overturn the election, Mr Eastman emailed asking for a pardon, which he did not receive.

The committee also sent a request to Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas’s wife Virginia ‘Ginni’ Thomas, a conservative activist and lawyer.

Key points

  • ‘Pouring gasoline on the fire’: Trump knew election plot was illegal but stoked riot that threatened Pence’s life
  • Mike Pence told Trump ‘many times’ that plan to overturn election was illegal, ex-VP’s aide says
  • Rioters got within 40 feet of Pence and informant reveals Proud Boys ‘were willing to kill’
  • Jan 6 witness knocks down Trump lawyer’s argument to overturn election
  • Trump White House attorneys called plan to overturn election ‘completely crazy’
  • “I DEMAND EQUAL TIME!”: Trump’s Jan 6 hearing Truth Social ranting continues

YouTube deletes video of January 6 committee hearing, report says

07:45 , Sravasti Dasgupta

YouTube has allegedly deleted a video of former Attorney General William P Barr’s testimony to the January 6 Committee hearing on the grounds that it included a clip of former president Donald Trump sharing lies about the 2020 elections, reported The New York Times.

“The excerpt, which was uploaded June 14, included recorded testimony from former Attorney General William P Barr. But the problem for YouTube was that the video also included a clip of former President Donald J Trump sharing lies about the election on the Fox Business channel,” the report said.

In a statement, YouTube spokesperson Ivy Choi said: “Our election integrity policy prohibits content advancing false claims that widespread fraud, errors or glitches changed the outcome of the 2020 US presidential election, if it does not provide sufficient context.”

The video of the committee’s Thursday hearing is still available on YouTube.

Opinion: What we just heard about Trump, Pence and Giuliani on January 6th was beyond the worst-case scenario

07:30 , Oliver O’Connell

Ahmed Baba writes:

They knew. They all knew.

Today’s hearing focused on Donald Trump, John Eastman, and his allies’ effort to pressure Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the results of the 2020 election on January 6. According to testimony, key players in Trump’s inner circle — including Trump and Eastman themselves — knew that Pence overturning the election would be illegal, but pushed him to do it anyway. In other words, they knowingly launched an illegal attempted coup.

© Provided by The Independent

What we just heard about Trump and Pence on Jan 6th is beyond the worst-case scenario

Anti-vaxx doctor Simone Gold sentenced for role in Capitol riots

07:15 , Sravasti Dasgupta

Simone Gold, a leading anti-vaccine California doctor, was sentenced to two months of imprisonment for storming the US Capitol and delivering a speech to the rioters during the January 6 insurrection.

Gold told the court that she regretted entering the Capitol and didn’t intend to get involved in an event that was “so destructive to our nation”.

“It’s the opposite of who I am,” she told US district judge Christopher Cooper.

Namita Singh reports:

© Provided by The Independent

Anti-vaxx doctor sentenced to jail for role in Capitol riots

‘The Costanza defence’: Trump’s Jan 6 arguments likened to ‘Seinfeld’ joke

07:00 , Oliver O’Connell

Donald Trump has been accused of using the “Constanza Defence,” a reference to an episode of the classic sitcom Seinfeld, to justify his false claims about the 2020 presidential election.

In a Tuesday episode of MSNBC’s The Beat, host Ari Melber said the former president seemed to be copying a line of logic from Seinfeld character George Constanza, who says in one episode, “Remember, it’s not a lie if you believe it.”

Josh Marcus reports:

© Provided by The Independent

Trump’s Jan 6 arguments dubbed ‘the Costanza defence’ after ‘Seinfeld’ joke

‘Pouring gasoline on the fire’: Trump knew election plot was illegal

06:45 , Sravasti Dasgupta

Video depositions made public by the House select committee revealed on Thursday that Donald Trump knew the plan to have his vice president commandeer the 6 January session of Congress and declare Republicans the winners of the election was illegal.

Ivanka Trump, the former president’s daughter-turned-senior-adviser, recalled how she heard Mr Trump on the phone telling Mr Pence: “You are a wimp, you’ll be a wimp.”

Shortly after the call, Mr Trump posted a tweet in which he said Mr 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 facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify”.

A former White House aide told the January 6 committee that the tweet was like “pouring gasoline on the fire” as rioters starting chants of “hang Mike Pence” and calling for Mr Pence to be brought out from the Capitol.

© Provided by The Independent

Trump knew plan for Pence to reject electoral votes was illegal but pushed it anyway

Who is John Eastman?

06:20 , Sravasti Dasgupta

Conservative attorney John Eastman has been at the centre of this week’s House Select Committee on the January 6 hearing.

The hearing has heard lots about Mr Eastman and his opinions, and how he and then president Donald Trump had tried to persuade vice president Mike Pence on 5 Jan in an Oval Office meeting, that he had the constitutional power to block Biden’s ascent.

Andrew Buncombe explains the role Mr Eastman played in pushing Mr Trump’s plan to derail democracy:

© Provided by The Independent

Who is John Eastman and why did he ask Trump for a presidential pardon?

Never been as worried about US democracy, says Bill Clinton

06:10 , Sravasti Dasgupta

As the January 6 Committee hearings continue on last year’s Capitol insurrection, former president Bill Clinton says he has “never” been as worried about the fate of US democracy than he is right now.

“I actually think there is a fair chance we could completely lose our constitutional democracy for a couple of decades if we make bad decisions,” Mr Clinton told Late Late Show host James Corden in an episode airing Thursday.

“I am not naive about this. I have been in a lot of fights. I have lost some and won a bunch. I have been elated and heartbroken. But I have never before been as worried about the structure of our democratic form of government.”

Josh Marcus reports:

© Provided by The Independent

Bill Clinton tells James Corden he’s ‘never’ been more worried about US democracy

Opinion: Ginni Thomas’ involvement in January 6th shows we have a big problem with the Supreme Court

05:50 , Sravasti Dasgupta

Noah Berlatsky writes:

New emails provide even more damning evidence that Ginni Thomas may have been involved in efforts to illegally overthrow the 2020 election victory of Joe Biden. Thomas is the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas — and together, the Thomases seem determined to demonstrate just how vulnerable our democracy is.

© Provided by The Independent

Ginni Thomas’ involvement in January 6th shows we have a big SCOTUS problem

Committee sends request to Ginni Thomas

05:30 , Sravasti Dasgupta

The January 6 committee probing last year’s Capitol riots has sent a letter to Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, the conservative activist and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

The panel in its letter has asked her to speak to them about her role in the effort to overturn the 2020 electoral results, committee chair Bennie Thompson said on Thursday.

“We think it’s time that we, at some point, invite her to come talk to the committee,” Mr Thompson told reporters on Thursday.

Ms Thomas had said in an interview with conservative outlet The Daily Caller that she “can’t wait to clear up misconceptions”.

“I look forward to talking to them,” she was quoted as saying in the interview published on Thursday.

Recently, text messages between Mark Meadows and Ms Thomas were released by the panel indicating Ms Thomas had played an active role in attempting to convince White House staff to go along with former president Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn the election.

John Bowden reports:

© Provided by The Independent

Jan 6 committee to seek testimony from Ginni Thomas

Photos show Trump and family in Oval Office on Jan 6

05:14 , Sravasti Dasgupta

Previously unreleased photographs from inside the White House provided to the House select committee show then-president Donald Trump with his children and aides inside the Oval Office that day.

The images show the Trump family including the then president, and his children – Donald Trump Jr, Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump – along with chief aides and members of the administration at the White House as the joint session of Congress convened to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election, which the former president baselessly asserted as fraudulent and stolen.

Mr Trump is also photographed on the phone.

Alex Woodward has the details:

© Provided by The Independent

Previously unreleased photos show Trump and family in Oval Office on Jan 6

Biden says recession ‘not inevitable’

04:59 , Oliver O’Connell

Joe Biden told the Associated Press that a recession is “not inevitable” at a time when the federal government is working to increase interest rates to curb inflation.

His comments come after a speech in Philadelphia in which he blasted Republicans, billionaires, and Wall Street while defending his economic plans.

Graig Graziosi reports on the president’s remarks.

© Provided by The Independent

Biden says recession ‘not inevitable’

DOJ hits out at January 6 committee for not sharing witness transcripts

04:30 , Oliver O’Connell

The Justice Department has accused the January 6 committee of withholding witness transcripts that would aid the prosecution of people who attacked the US Capitol.

In a letter sent to the committee on Wednesday, the DOJ said the “failure” to grant it access to the transcripts “complicates the department’s ability to investigate and prosecute those who engaged in criminal conduct” in relation to the Capitol attack.

“It is critical that the Select Committee provide us with copies of the transcripts of all of its witness interviews,” continued the letter, which was signed by Assistant Attorneys General Kenneth Polite, Jr and Matthew Olsen, as well as US Attorney Matthew Graves.

Richard Hall reports on the latest developments in the possible criminal proceedings against those involved in the January 6 attack on the Capitol.

© Provided by The Independent

DOJ hits out at January 6 committee for not sharing witness transcripts

Proud Boys ‘were willing to kill vice president’ and rioters got within 40 feet of Pence

04:00 , Oliver O’Connell

One of the most stunning moments of Thursday’s hearing of the January 6 committee came as members presented a 3D model of areas of the Senate basement where Mike Pence was evacuated to after leaving the Senate floor with Secret Service.

According to security footage of the day, rioters came dangerously close to the vice president while members of the crowd inside and outside of the Capitol chanted, “hang Mike Pence”.

And according to committee member Pete Aguilar, a confidential witness has testified to the FBI that members of the Proud Boys, who were present in the riot, “would have killed Mike Pence if given the chance”.

John Bowden has startling details of the story.

© Provided by The Independent

Jan 6 informant reveals Proud Boys ‘were willing to kill vice president’

Trump lied about Mike Pence agreeing he could overturn election, hearing told

02:30 , Oliver O’Connell

An attorney who served as Mike Pence’s chief legal counsel in the days leading up to Jan 6 rebuked Donald Trump on Thursday and said that a statement the president put out claiming that the vice president agreed he had the power to overturn the election was “categorically false”.

Greg Jacob made the declaration on Thursday just before the January 6 committee took a recess.

Asked about a statement Mr Trump put out on the day before the riot claiming that he and Pence were in “total agreement” about the vice president’s authority to interfere in the electoral vote count, Mr Jacob said that the vice president’s team was “shocked and disappointed.”

John Bowden reports on the testimony.

© Provided by The Independent

Jan 6 hearing finds Trump lied about Mike Pence agreeing he could overturn election

Eastman tried to justify potential violence over plot to overturn election

02:00 , Oliver O’Connell

that would ensue if the former president tried to overturn the 2020 presidential election, the select committee investigating the January 6 riot at the Capitol hear in testimony on Thursday.

The committee played video testimony from former Trump administration lawyer Eric Herschman describing his conversation with John C Eastman, who was trying to concoct a plan for then-vice president Mike Pence to overturn the election results during the certification of the Electoral College.

“You’re saying that you believe the vice president, acting as president of the Senate of the Senate can be the sole decision-maker as to, under your theory, who becomes the next president of the United States”, Mr Herschmann recalled saying, to which Mr Eastman said “yes.”

Eric Garcia, reporting for The Independent from Capitol Hill, has the story.

© Provided by The Independent

Trump attorney tried to justify potential violence over plot to overturn election

Jan 6 witness knocks down Trump lawyer’s argument to overturn election

01:00 , Oliver O’Connell

A retired federal judge who formely counted a top lawyer for Donald Trump’s campaign among his law clerks, roundly dismissed the idea that Vice President Mike Pence had the authority to interfere in the count of the Electoral College.

J Michael Luttig, a former US Court of Appeals judge for the Fourth Circuit, rejected the idea supported by his former clerk, John Eastman, that posited the vice president could toss out results from states where the Trump campaign had claimed fraud (without evidence).

“There was no basis in the Constitution or the laws of the United States at all for the theory espoused by Mr Eastman. At all. None,” Mr Luttig told the House January 6 committee on Thursday.

John Bowden watched his testimony.

© Provided by The Independent

Jan 6 witness knocks down Trump lawyer’s argument to overturn election

VP aide: Pence told Trump ‘many times’ that plan to overturn election was illegal

Friday 17 June 2022 00:30 , Oliver O’Connell

Former Vice President Mike Pence warned Donald Trump that his plans to overturn the 2020 election were illegal ahead of January 6, the committee investigating Mr Trump’s role in the attack revealed on Thursday.

The latest revelation came in the form of testimony from Marc Short, the vice president’s ex-chief of staff who has remained one of his closest aides since Mr Pence left the White House in 2021.

According to Mr Short, the vice president warned Mr Trump “many times” that the plan was unconstitutional, yet Mr Trump pressed forward in his efforts to pressure his VP into interfering in the electoral count anyway.

John Bowden reports.

© Provided by The Independent

Mike Pence told Trump ‘many times’ that plan to overturn election was illegal

Thursday 16 June 2022 23:45 , Oliver O’Connell

Trump demands ‘equal time’ as ‘slanderous’ Jan 6 committee

Thursday 16 June 2022 23:30 , Oliver O’Connell

Donald Trump has hit out at TV news networks for broadcasting the hearings of the House select committee investigating the events surrounding the 6 January 2021 attack on the US Capitol.

The former president took to his own social media platform, Truth Social, to complain that the hearings are “low rated”, “one-sided”, and “slanderous”.

Further, he demanded that he receive “equal time” to lay out a case for his unfounded allegations of voter fraud in the 2020 election.

© Provided by The Independent

Trump demands ‘equal time’ after Jan 6 committee hearing

Thursday 16 June 2022 23:15 , Oliver O’Connell

Opinion: Ginni Thomas’ involvement in January 6th shows we have a big problem with the Supreme Court

Thursday 16 June 2022 23:00 , Oliver O’Connell

Noah Berlatsky writes:

New emails provide even more damning evidence that Ginni Thomas may have been involved in efforts to illegally overthrow the 2020 election victory of Joe Biden. Thomas is the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas — and together, the Thomases seem determined to demonstrate just how vulnerable our democracy is.

© Provided by The Independent

Ginni Thomas’ involvement in January 6th shows we have a big SCOTUS problem

‘The Costanza defence’: Trump’s Jan 6 arguments likened to ‘Seinfeld’ joke

Thursday 16 June 2022 22:45 , Oliver O’Connell

Donald Trump has been accused of using the “Constanza Defence,” a reference to an episode of the classic sitcom Seinfeld, to justify his false claims about the 2020 presidential election.

In a Tuesday episode of MSNBC’s The Beat, host Ari Melber said the former president seemed to be copying a line of logic from Seinfeld character George Constanza, who says in one episode, “Remember, it’s not a lie if you believe it.”

Josh Marcus reports:

© Provided by The Independent

Trump’s Jan 6 arguments dubbed ‘the Costanza defence’ after ‘Seinfeld’ joke

‘Pouring gasoline on the fire’

Thursday 16 June 2022 22:36 , Oliver O’Connell

The third public hearing into the Capitol riot heard evidence that Donald Trump was repeatedly told his plan to overturn the election result was illegal, even by the lawyer urging him to do so.

The Independent’s Washington, DC, team was on Capitol Hill today for the shocking testimony.

© Provided by The Independent

Trump knew plan for Pence to reject electoral votes was illegal but pushed it anyway

Opinion: What we just heard about Trump, Pence and Giuliani on January 6th was beyond the worst-case scenario

Thursday 16 June 2022 22:27 , Oliver O’Connell

Ahmed Baba writes:

They knew. They all knew.

Today’s hearing focused on Donald Trump, John Eastman, and his allies’ effort to pressure Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the results of the 2020 election on January 6. According to testimony, key players in Trump’s inner circle — including Trump and Eastman themselves — knew that Pence overturning the election would be illegal, but pushed him to do it anyway. In other words, they knowingly launched an illegal attempted coup.

© Provided by The Independent

What we just heard about Trump and Pence on Jan 6th is beyond the worst-case scenario

Biden says recession ‘not inevitable’

Thursday 16 June 2022 22:18 , Oliver O’Connell

Joe Biden told the Associated Press that a recession is “not inevitable” at a time when the federal government is working to increase interest rates to curb inflation.

His comments come after a speech in Philadelphia in which he blasted Republicans, billionaires, and Wall Street while defending his economic plans.

Mr Biden said at the time that he would continue to try to force billionaires and corporations to pay taxes that, he argues, they underpay every year.

Graig Graziosi reports:

© Provided by The Independent

Biden says recession ‘not inevitable’

New photo shows Pence in secure Capitol location

Thursday 16 June 2022 22:10 , Oliver O’Connell

A photo released from the National Archives to the House Select Committee investigating the attack on the Capitol on January 6 2021 shows then-Vice President Mike Pence in a secure Capitol Hill location watching a video of then-President Donald Trump praising the rioters.

Gustaf Kilander reports.

DOJ hits out at January 6 committee for not sharing witness transcripts

Thursday 16 June 2022 21:59 , Oliver O’Connell

The Justice Department has accused the January 6 committee of withholding witness transcripts that would aid the prosecution of people who attacked the US Capitol.

In a letter sent to the committee on Wednesday, the DOJ said the “failure” to grant it access to the transcripts “complicates the department’s ability to investigate and prosecute those who engaged in criminal conduct” in relation to the Capitol attack.

“It is critical that the Select Committee provide us with copies of the transcripts of all of its witness interviews,” continued the letter, which was signed by Assistant Attorneys General Kenneth Polite, Jr and Matthew Olsen, as well as US Attorney Matthew Graves.

Richard Hall reports.

© Provided by The Independent

DOJ hits out at January 6 committee for not sharing witness transcripts

New photos emerge of Trump family in Oval Office on Jan 6

Thursday 16 June 2022 21:50 , Oliver O’Connell

Informant reveals Proud Boys ‘were willing to kill vice president’ as rioters got within 40 feet of Pence

Thursday 16 June 2022 21:40 , Oliver O’Connell

One of the most stunning moments of Thursday’s hearing of the January 6 committee came as members presented a 3D model of areas of the Senate basement where Mike Pence was evacuated to after leaving the Senate floor with Secret Service.

According to security footage of the day, rioters came dangerously close to the vice president while members of the crowd inside and outside of the Capitol chanted, “hang Mike Pence”.

And according to committee member Pete Aguilar, a confidential witness has testified to the FBI that members of the Proud Boys, who were present in the riot, “would have killed Mike Pence if given the chance”.

John Bowden reports.

© Provided by The Independent

Jan 6 informant reveals Proud Boys ‘were willing to kill vice president’

Raskin: Question of Eastman email is if it is indicative of guilt

Thursday 16 June 2022 21:26 , Oliver O’Connell

The Independent’s Eric Garcia asked Rep Jamie Raskin about the prospect of prosecution for John Eastman based on his email asking for a presidential pardon following January 6.

Said Mr Raskin: “It’s obviously not illegal for him to seek a pardon, that’s not a criminal act of itself. The question is whether it is indicative of his consciousness of guilt or his fear of prosecution based on all of the actions he had undertaken in conjunction with Donald Trump. I think those are all legitimate questions and they all bear factual inquiry.”

Jan 6 chair says will not stop work to turn over transcripts to DoJ

Thursday 16 June 2022 21:21 , Oliver O’Connell

After the hearing, January 6 committee chair Rep Bennie Thompson was asked by reporters if the group would be turning over the transcripts of depositions to the Department of Justice to help with criminal prosecutions as has been requested by letter.

Mr Thompson responded: “We go the letter yesterday. We’re reviewing it, we’ll respond to it. But we’re in the midst of conducting our hearing, we have a programme to get over. We have to get the facts and circumstances behind January 6.”

“We will work with them, but we have a report to do,” he adds. “We are not going to stop what we’re doing to share the information we’ve gathered so far with the Department of Justice. We have to do our work.”

Trump ‘coup memo’ author asked for pardon

Thursday 16 June 2022 21:15 , Oliver O’Connell

The lawyer pushing the theory that then-Vice President Mike Pence had the power to singlehandedly overturn the election on January 6 asked for a presidential pardon from Donald Trump and continued to urge Mr Pence to reject the election results after the attack on the Capitol, according to testimony to the House Select Committee investigating the riot.

Gustaf Kilander reports:

© Provided by The Independent

‘Coup memo’ author asked for pardon and lobbied VP to overturn election after riot

Thursday 16 June 2022 21:00 , Oliver O’Connell

Here’s what senior Trump advisers through about the Eastman scheme to overturn the election.

Thursday 16 June 2022 20:48 , Oliver O’Connell

The hearing concludes with Chair Bennie Thompson flagging up a tip line for those who want to provide additional information to the committtee.

Trump and allies still a ‘clear and present danger’ to American democracy

Thursday 16 June 2022 20:45 , Oliver O’Connell

Judge Luittig says “I’m honoured beyond words by your words, I was honored on Jan 6 2021 and also honoured beyond words to be able to come to the aid of Vice President Mike Pence.”

He says Trump and his supporters remain a “clear and present danger” to American democracy because they “pledge” in 2024 to overturn another election, should he or an ally run and be defeated.

Judge Luttig adds that Trump and his allies are “candidly and proudly” executing a blueprint for the 2024 election “in open and plain view of the American public”.

He worries they may succeed where they failed in 2020.

“I don’t speak those words lightly,” he says.

Thursday 16 June 2022 20:39 , Oliver O’Connell

Chair Bennie Thompson tells Mr Jacob that he and former Vice President Pence and his team had courage when others did not and “put our democracy first”.

Thursday 16 June 2022 20:33 , Oliver O’Connell

Rep Aguilar says: “Judge Luttig in the statement you released earlier today, you wrote that the efforts by President Trump to overturn the 2020 election, were quote, the most reckless insidious and calamitous failures in both legal and political judgment in American history. What do you mean by that?”

Judge Luttig responds: “Exactly what I said, Congressman.”

Thursday 16 June 2022 20:32 , Oliver O’Connell

Former Trump White House lawyer Eric Herschmann says he talked with Eastman on January 7 and told him: “Get a great effing criminal defense lawyer. You’re going to need it.”

Eastman then emailed Rudy Giuliani saying that he wanted to be on the Trump administration pardon list.

“I’ve decided that I should be on the pardon list, if that is still in the works,” he wrote. Eastman did not received a pardon.

Video is then shown of Eastman’s depisition for the panel where he pled the fifth 100 times, according to Rep Aguilar.