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Trump knew of Capitol breach when he knocked Pence in tweet on Jan. 6, Democrat says

In this image from video, a security video shows Vice President Mike Pence being evacuated from near the Senate chamber as rioters breach the Capitol, on Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. Pence won’t be testifying at Thursday’s Jan. 6 committee hearing. But he will be in the spotlight as the group turns its focus to former President Donald Trump’s desperate attempts to persuade Pence to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. (Senate Television via AP)

Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) said in an interview Thursday that former President Trump knew the Capitol had been breached on Jan. 6, 2021, when he sent a tweet disparaging then-Vice President Mike Pence.

In an interview with NBC News, Aguilar said that the Capitol was breached at 2:13 p.m. and that Trump posted a tweet saying “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what was necessary” at 2:24 p.m.

The congressman added that the vice president was “one window pane away from the from the mob” and that the tweet going out was “when they knew it was time to evacuate.”

“[Trump] knew that there was violence and he still tweeted the vice president ‘didn’t have the courage to do what was necessary,'” Aguilar said.

At the time of the Capitol riot, Pence was presiding over the certification of the election results in the Senate. Following the news that the building was under attack, Pence was evacuated from the building.

Before the insurrection, the former president had publicly asserted that Pence had the ability to overturn the election results while presiding over its certification. The role of the vice president in the certification process is largely ceremonial. At the time, Pence refused Trump’s ask.

The California Democrat told the outlet that the former president’s tweet “pointed” the mob in Pence’s direction and said “it’s the vice president’s fault.”

The House select committee investigating the Capitol riot also released a short, 20-second video to NBC News of Pence’s former chief of staff Marc Short testifying that Pence had conveyed his position on the 2020 election to Trump “many times” and had been “very consistent.”

This comes as the the Jan. 6 committee’s third hearing puts the focus on the relationship between Trump and Pence, sharing evidence in order to prove a “pressure campaign on Vice President Pence driven by the former president.”

Thursday’s public hearing will be the Jan. 6 panel’s third since it began them last week. Viewers will also hear from Greg Jacob, then senior counsel to Pence, as well as Michael Luttig, a former judge on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals and conservative legal figure who was an informal adviser to Pence. 

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack also released a video of Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.) on Wednesday showing him giving a tour the day before the Capitol attack to a man who took photos of the Capitol complex’s hallways before attending the rally the next day.

Tags 2020 presidential election Donald Trump Jan 6 hearing Jan 6 insurrection Mike Pence Pence Pete Aguilar Trump

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