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Trump pressured Pence to prevent Biden’s election, according to the commission of the storming of the Capitol

The third hearing focused on Trump’s pressure campaign on his Vice President Mike Pence to annul the electoral certification. / EFE

The plan was conceived by outside legal counsel John Eastman

The Commission’s third landmark hearing on January 6 focused on Trump’s pressure campaign on his Vice President Mike Pence in the weeks leading up to the attack on Capitol Hill to stop Electoral College certification of Biden’s victory.

The plan, conceived by Trump’s outside legal counsel, John Eastman, the architect of the theory that Trump could nullify the election, instructed the vice president to reject certified delegates in states where Trump had lost, and paved the way for a second presidential term.

Eastman was the author of the ominous “coup memorandum”, which laid out the execution of the plan step by step, according to which Pence would refuse to certify the lists of Biden delegates in 7 states, under the pretext that they had been contested. Instead, the vice president would admit to lists of bogus “alternate delegates,” Trump supporters who cast their votes for the former president.

A plot, unconstitutional and illegal, that last March was described by a federal judge as a “coup in search of a legal theory.”

The plan appealed to a supposed “constitutional power” of the vice president, and was flatly rejected by Pence, his lawyers and the White House lawyer, and which makes Trump responsible for crimes of obstruction of a constitutional process, and conspiracy to defraud the state.

In the end, no state legislature ever certified an alternative list of pro-Trump electors. The former president’s White House sent false lists of pro-Trump delegates to Congress, although they were never presented at the certification session on the day of the attack.

Greg Jacob, Pence’s former lawyer, present at all the pressure meetings by Trump and his allies, who was with the vice president on the day of the insurrection, testified in person before the hearing about his conversations with Eastman.

Jacob described a meeting with Trump, his chief of staff Mark Meadows, Pence’s chief of staff Marc Short, and Pence, in which Eastman presented the vice president with two impossible options: reject electoral votes outright; or, in his capacity as Senate President, suspend proceedings and declare a 10-day recess to buy time.

Advised by his legal advisers, Pence flatly refused to participate in the plot, claiming that the Constitution did not give him the authority to take such a step.

The second witness, the prestigious retired conservative judge of the federal Court of Appeals, Michael Luttig, an informal advisor to Pence, presented the legal argument he developed in defense of the former vice president against Trump’s pressure efforts.

Luttig pointed out that, although the wording of the phrase in the Constitution may be somewhat imprecise, in no way would its authors, who abhorred the concentration of power, and fought for independence against the tyranny of George III, have deposited such power on a single person, especially someone implicated in election results.

The pressure of an increasingly desperate Trump on Vice President Pence continued until the day of the attack with veiled threats in his speech in the Plaza de la Ellipse.

When Trump learned that Pence would not cooperate, he incited the violent mob against the vice president. Video images showed the guillotine erected in front of the Capitol and the violent ones shouting ‘let’s hang Pence’.

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