Live coverage: Pence in spotlight during Jan. 6 committee hearing

The relationship between former President Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence will take center stage at the Jan. 6 committee’s third hearing on Thursday afternoon as it examines the “pressure campaign on Vice President Pence driven by the former president.”

“Tomorrow’s hearing is going to focus on former President Trump’s attempts to pressure former Vice President Pence to unilaterally change the results of the election in the joint session of Congress on Jan. 6,” a select committee aide told reporters.

Follow The Hill’s live coverage below:

Luttig fears Trump laying groundwork to overturn 2024 election

4:02 p.m.

Judge Luttig told the House committee at the close of Thursday’s hearing that he fears former President Trump and his allies may be laying the groundwork to overturn the 2024 election results. 

“Former President Trump and his allies are executing that blueprint for 2024 in open and plain view of the public,” Luttig said. 

Luttig, who testified on Thursday that the theories put forward by Trump and his allies to reject the 2020 election results were unconstitutional, told lawmakers he viewed the former president as an ongoing threat to democracy. 

Trump has spent the year-and-a-half since the 2020 election repeating disproven claims about voter fraud and claiming the election was stolen from him, despite recounts and audits in various states that have validated Joe Biden’s victory. Even some GOP members of the House and Senate have refused to acknowledge Biden legitimately won the election. 

Luttig said he was concerned Trump’s election fraud claims may “succeed in 2024 where they failed in 2020.” 

“I don’t speak those words lightly,” Luttig said. 

—Brett Samuels

Panel releases photos of Pence sheltering on Jan. 6

3:28 p.m.

The Jan. 6 House committee on Thursday released never before seen photos of former Vice President Mike Pence sheltering at the Capitol as rioters were in the building, including one in which he was seen looking at a tweet from former President Trump.

The committee said rioters who had breached the Capitol were within 40 feet of Pence at one point, closer than had been previously reported. Photos released Thursday showed Pence and his family sheltering in an undisclosed location within the complex.

Using testimony from former Trump White House officials, the committee laid out a timeline of events at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, that made clear Trump was aware the scene there had turned violent when he tweeted that Pence lacked the courage to reject the 2020 election results.

Ben Williamson, a former aide to then-Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows, testified to the committee in a deposition aired Thursday that aides had informed Trump things were getting “hairy” at the Capitol.

Sarah Matthews, a former Trump press aide who resigned the night of Jan. 6, told the committee Trump’s tweet attacking Pence felt like “pouring gasoline on the fire.”

— Brett Samuels

Paul Ryan called Pence and Marc Short ahead of Jan. 6

2:28 p.m.

Former Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) called former Vice President Mike Pence and Pence’s chief of staff before Jan. 6, 2021, to make the case the vice president had no authority to overturn election results.

Marc Short, who served as Pence’s chief of staff, told the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riots about his call with Ryan during closed-door testimony that was aired during Thursday’s hearing.

Short told the committee that Ryan, who retired from the House after the 2018 midterms, called him to say Pence did not have the power to reject electors as then-President Trump and some of his allies were claiming. Short said Pence knew that was the case.

“He later spoke to the vice president to have the same conversation,” Short told the committee.

Ryan largely kept quiet publicly in the aftermath of the 2020 election, though he did attend Joe Biden’s inauguration two weeks after the Capitol riots.

— Brett Samuels

Luttig says he’d lay across the road to stop election from being overturned

2:20 p.m.

Former federal judge J. Michael Luttig told the Jan. 6 House committee on Thursday he would have “laid my body across the road” before allowing former Vice President Mike Pence to carry out a plan by attorney John Eastman to overturn the 2020 election result.

“I would have laid my body across the road before I would have let the Vice President overturn the 2020 election on the basis of that historical precedent,” Luttig told the committee during its Thursday hearing.

Luttig was referencing an assertion by Eastman, an attorney who was advising then-President Trump leading up the Jan. 6 riots, that the 12th Amendment could be interpreted to allow the vice president to determine the winner of an election and reject state electors.

“What America needs to know, is that that was the centerpiece of the plan to overturn the 2020 election,” Luttig said.

The committee used video deposition and testimony from Luttig to illustrate how even many of Trump’s advisers believed Eastman’s idea was baseless and had no legal standing.

— Brett Samuels

Luttig says Pence would have led ‘revolution’ by following Trump

2:02 p.m.

Former federal judge J. Michael Luttig, a conservative who served as an informal advisor to then-Vice President Mike Pence, testified before the Jan. 6 select committee on Thursday that Pence would have led a “revolution within a constitutional crisis” if he followed then-President Trump’s order to reject the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the vice chair of the Jan. 6 panel, asked Luttig to elaborate on a statement he made prior to the start of Thursday’s hearing in which the former judge said that if Pence obeyed Trump’s plea, the U.S. “would immediately have been plunged into what would have been tantamount to a revolution within a paralyzing constitutional crisis.”

Luttig, after underscoring the importance of the rule of law in the U.S., said Pence would have led the U.S. to its first-ever constitutional crisis if he followed the president’s request and declared Trump the winner of the presidential election.

“That declaration of Donald Trump as the next president would have plunged America into what I believe would have been tantamount to a revolution within a constitutional crisis in America, which in my view, and I’m only one man, would have been the first constitutional crisis since the founding of the republic,” Luttig testified.

The Jan. 6 panel is focused at its Thursday hearing on the pressure campaign on Pence.

— Mychael Schnell

Eastman told Trump push to block election results was illegal

1:29 p.m.

John Eastman, a lawyer advising former President Trump in the lead-up to the Jan. 6, 2021 riots at the U.S. Capitol, told Trump that their push to have then-Vice President Pence reject the 2020 election results likely violated the law, according to newly released testimony.

Greg Jacob, former general counsel to Pence, told the Jan. 6 House committee in a closed-door deposition aired at Thursday’s hearing that he recalled Eastman admitting to Trump two days before the riots that their plans would violate the Electoral Count Act.

“As a federal court has explained, ‘Based in the evidence, the court finds that it is more likely than not that President Trump and Dr. Eastman dishonestly conspired to obstruct the Joint Session of Congress on Jan. 6, 2021,'” Rep Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said during Thursday’s hearing.

Eastman was one of the leading advocates pushing Trump to pressure Pence to reject the slate of electors from certain states on Jan. 6, but Pence determined he did not have the authority to do so.

— Brett Samuels

Video shows rioters threatening to drag politicians through the streets

1:17 p.m.

The Jan. 6 panel began its hearing with a video that showed the outrage those marching on the Capitol felt toward then-Vice President Mike Pence.

One participant marching toward the Capitol during the video said politicians would be drug through the streets if necessary to ensure Trump won the 2020 election.

Another said a “show of force” at the Capitol was necessary.

The video underscored how many participants thought Pence could change the outcome of the Electoral College count.

It also included a clip of Trump riling up the crowd at a rally that preceded the invasion of the Capitol, while pressuring Pence to take action — a step Pence has said he had no constitutional right to take.

— Ian Swanson

Panel to ask for interview with Ginni Thomas

12:56 p.m.

Ahead of Thursday’s hearing, the Jan. 6 panel made it clear it wants an interview with Ginni Thomas, the conservative activist married to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the chairman of the panel, told reporters Thursday that the invite would go out “at some point” in the next few weeks. 

Ginni Thomas has been under heavy scrutiny for texts and emails she sent after the 2020 presidential election.

— Ian Swanson

Get caught up before hearing starts

12:00 p.m.

The hearing before the select House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol is scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday.

Here is the latest coverage from The Hill while you’re waiting for it to begin.

Jan. 6 panel to focus on Trump pressure campaign on Pence

Who is Michael Luttig, who testifies Thursday before the Jan. 6 panel?

Who is Greg Jacob, Pence’s lawyer who testifies Thursday before Jan. 6 panel

Jan. 6 hearings archive

The Hill staff

Tags Bennie Thompson Capitol breach Clarence Thomas Donald Trump Ginni Thomas Greg Jacob Jan. 6 hearings John Eastman Liz Cheney Marc Short Mike Pence Paul Ryan

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