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Panel sharpens focus on Trump's 'crazy' Jan. 6 plan

Panel sharpens focus on Trump's 'crazy' Jan. 6 plan

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump's extraordinary attempt to overturn his 2020 election defeat came into ever-clearer focus Thursday, accompanied by testimony describing his pressuring Vice President Mike Pence inside vulgar private taunts with every one other accompanied by condition entreaties to place an extremity to the certification of Joe Biden's victory inside the run-up to the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.

Trump's closest advisers viewed his last-ditch efforts to halt congressional certification of his mislaying while "nuts," "crazy" with every one other accompanied by flat probable to incite riots if Pence followed through, witnesses revealed inside stark testimony Thursday.

The panel revealed how Trump place his vice president inside danger while Pence was presiding over a join meeting of Congress on Jan. 6, 2021, when the defeated president sent his supporters to the Capitol to "fight exist fond of hell" over his incorrect claims of a fraudulent election.

Rioters came within 40 feet of the place at the Capitol where Pence with every one other accompanied by others had been evacuated. Never-before-shown photos showed Pence with every one other accompanied by his team sheltering.

"He deserves to exist burned accompanied by the relax of them," one rioter is heard saying on video while the mob prepares to tempest the iconic building.

"Pence betrayed us," says another rioter, wearing a Make America Great Again titfer inside a selfie video inside the Capitol.

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Pence's counsel Greg Jacob testified that he could "hear the din" of the rioters nearby. Asked if Trump at some time checked on Pence throughout the siege, Jacob said, "He did not."

With exist testimony with every one other accompanied by other proof from its yearlong investigation, the panel held its third hearing this month aiming to demonstrate that Trump's repeated incorrect claims with every one other accompanied by despairing try to remain inside ability led straight to the Capitol insurrection.

All told, the committee is pulling with every one other a black painting of the extremity of Trump's presidency while the defeated Republican was left-hand grasping for alternatives while courts turned spine dozens of lawsuits challenging the vote.

Trump latched onto conservative rules and regulations professor John Eastman's obscure scheme to defy historical precedent of the Electoral Count Act with every one other accompanied by reverse Joe Biden's victory.

Trump aides with every one other accompanied by allies warned bluntly inside private concerning his efforts, flat while some publicly continued to stand by the president's incorrect election claims. Nine people died inside the insurrection with every one other accompanied by its aftermath.

"Are you not here of your effing mind?" Eric Herschmann, a legal practitioner advising Trump, told Eastman inside recorded testimony shown at the hearing.

"You're going to turn around with every one other accompanied by tell 78-plus million people inside this country that your theory is, this is how you're going to invalidate their votes?" Herschmann said. He warned, "You're going to source riots inside the streets."

A text message from Fox News' Sean Hannity to Trump's leader of staff Mark Meadows concerning the scheme inside the run-up to Jan. 6 read, "I'm extremely worried concerning the following 48 hours."

Trump military operation counsellor Jason Miller said those around Trump called the scheme "crazy."

The committee has said the scheme was illegal, with every one other accompanied by a confederate judge has said "more probable than not" Trump committed crimes inside his try to place an extremity to the certification.

Eastman subsequent sought to exist "on the pardon list," according to an email he sent to Trump legal practitioner Rudy Giuliani, shared by the committee.

In a communal media pole Thursday, Trump decried the hearings anew while a "witch hunt," lambasted coverage by "the Fake News Networks" with every one other accompanied by exclaimed, "I DEMAND EQUAL TIME!!!"

On Capitol Hill, panel Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., cited Pence's own words that there was "almost no indeed idea additional un-American" than the one he was actuality asked to go nearer behind — reject Americans' votes.

By refusing Trump's demands, Pence "did his duty," said the panel's vice-chair, Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming.

The panel heard from Jacob, the vice president's counsel who fended off Eastman's ideas for Pence, with every one other accompanied by former confederate judge Michael Luttig, who called the scheme from Eastman, his former rules and regulations clerk, "incorrect at every one turn."

Jacob said it became understandable to Pence from the begin that the founding fathers did not intend to empower some one human being to affect the election result, with every one other accompanied by he "never budged."

Pence was determined to remain at the Capitol that darkness with every one other accompanied by complete the job, flat while his safety team prepared for him to leave, Jacob said.

Luttig, a conservative scholar, said inside a halting power of speech nevertheless firm terms that had Pence obeyed Trump's orders, declaring "Trump while the following president would have plunged America into what I exist convinced by would have been tantamount to a rebellion within a constitutional crisis inside America."

Thursday's meeting presented new theatrical proof concerning the danger Pence faced while rioters chanted "Hang Mike Pence" accompanied by a makeshift gallows external outside the Capitol.

The president's daughter, Ivanka Trump, testified concerning the "heated" phone call he had accompanied by Pence that morning, while the family joined inside the Oval Office. Another aide, Nicholas Luna, said he heard Trump call Pence a "wimp." Ivanka Trump's leader of staff, Julie Radford, said she was told the president called Pence "the p-word."

In another evolution Thursday, Thompson said the panel will inquire Virginia "Ginni" Thomas, the spouse of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, for an meeting amid disclosures of the conservative activist's communications accompanied by people inside Trump's orbit ahead of the attack. He did not specify a scheme for that.

"It's hour dated for her to go nearer talk," Thompson told reporters.

The panel's yearlong investigation is showcasing Trump's final weeks inside office while the defeated president clung to "the large lie" of a rigged election flat while those around him — his family, his top aides, officials at the highest levels of management — were telling him he simply had lost.

With 1,000 interviews with every one other accompanied by some 140,000 documents, the committee is showing how Trump's incorrect claims of election fraud became a battle cry while he summoned thousands of Americans to Washington with every one other accompanied by at that hour dated Capitol Hill.

Thursday's hearing unpacked the Eastman scheme to have the states dispatch different slates of electors from states Trump was disputing, including Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania with every one other accompanied by Wisconsin. With competing slates for Trump or Biden, Pence would exist forced to reject them, returning them to the states to type it out, under the plan.

The panel played video showing Eastman repeatedly invoking his Fifth Amendment just opposed to self-incrimination while actuality interviewed by the committee.

More than 800 people have been arrested inside the Capitol siege, including members of extremist groups facing infrequent sedition charges over their roles inside the Capitol attack.

The panel is considering whether to dispatch a referral for criminal charges opposed to Trump to the Justice Department. No president or former president has at some time been indicted by the Justice Department, with every one other accompanied by Attorney General Merrick Garland has said he with every one other accompanied by his team are following the proceedings inside Congress.

Several members of Congress are too under scrutiny, with every one other accompanied by the panel is too probing some candidates for elected office who were among the rioters.

In a letter earlier this week, the Justice Department warned the committee it is complicating the confederate investigation with every one other accompanied by requested transcripts of all observer interviews the panel has conducted.

The panel, which is expected to deliver a final report on its findings subsequent this year, intends for its labour to exist a record for history of the most brutal assault on the Capitol since the War of 1812.


Associated Press writers Kevin Freking with every one other accompanied by Eric Tucker inside Washington with every one other accompanied by Farnoush Amiri inside Los Angeles contributed to this report.


For filled coverage of the Jan. 6 hearings, go to

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