WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA) took center stage on Thursday afternoon at the third made-for-TV hearing of the House Select Committee on the January 6th Attack on the Capitol.
Aguilar, the only Latino on the nine-member committee, delivered opening remarks before questioning witnesses Greg Jacob —former counsel to Vice President Mike Pence— and retired Judge J. Michael Lettig.
Testimony focused on a memo by John Eastman, a discredited pseudo-scholar who argued that Vice President Pence had the authority to simply declare Donald Trump the winner of the 2020 presidential election.
It's important to establish how ludicrous the Eastman memo was.
But isn't Greg Jacob's knowledge of Trump's direct pressure campaign on Pence more relevant?
He emailed Eastman as he hid with Pence during the riot "Thanks to your bullshit we're now under siege."
— Cameron Joseph (@cam_joseph) June 16, 2022
“Here are some examples of some of the intense pressure that the Vice President faced from all sides,” said Aguilar, before playing a montage of video testimonies by committee witnesses and footage of President Trump calling on Pence to “do the right thing” at the downtown rally that preceded the MAGA crowd’s march to the Capitol and the deadly riot that followed.
Jacobs testified that two days before the riot he attended a meeting with President Trump, Vice President Pence, Eastman, and others, where ideas were proposed for illegally decertifying the clear electoral victory of Joe Biden as president.
“The vice president never budged from his position that was his first instinct” that Pence could not delay or decertify the counting of electors that would establish Joe Biden as president, Jacobs said.
Former counsel to VP Pence Greg Jacob recalling his conversation with Trump lawyer John Eastman,
"If you were right, don't you think that Al Gore might have liked to have known in 2000 that he had authority to just declare himself President of the United States."
— Eva McKend (@evamckend) June 16, 2022
“I hope that our great Vice President comes through for us,” Trump aud at a rally later that night. “Of course, if he doesn’t come through for us, I won’t like us as much.”
Two days later, Trump continued to use his public podium to pressure Pence to send the electoral count back to the states where Republican-controlled legislators and Trump-friendly election officials could reevaluate them.
“States want to revote. The states got defrauded, They were given false information. They voted on it. Now they want to recertify. They want it back,” Trump said. “All Vice President Pence has to do is send it back to the states to recertify and we become President and you are the happiest people.”
Eastman emailed Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani to ask for a presidential pardon after the insurrection was thwarted by police and the military which was deployed to Capitol hill late on January 6 and remained deployed throughout Washington, D.C., for weeks after the riot leading up to Biden’s inauguration.
“I’ve decided that I should be on the pardon list, if that is still in the works,” Eastman wrote to Giuliani. Trump didn’t pardon Eastman in the end, but the list of coup plotters who sought pardons from Trump in the aftermath of the January 6th attack is expected to grow in coming weeks as the bipartisan investigative committee continues its inquiry.
Ginni Thomas texted false election claims to Mark Meadows, urged Arizona lawmakers to challenge the 2020 results, and corresponded with John Eastman, who outlined a memo to overturn the election, according to recent news reports.
— Oma Seddiq (@omaseddiq) June 16, 2022
Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, also made news Thursday when it was revealed that she was more involved in the coup attempt than previously known. The select committee asked Ginni Thomas to appear before it to answer questions related to January 6th attack. Committee chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS) said he expects this will happen in the coming weeks.
Pablo Manríquez is the Washington correspondent for Latino Rebels. Twitter: @PabloReports