Findings from Day Three of the January 6 U.S. Capitol Riot Hearings


The third day of US Congressional hearings into the January 6, 2021, assault on Capitol Hill by supporters of former US President Donald Trump featured more, often intense, testimony. of close allies of the former president.

Here are three takeaways from the third day of the US House Select Committee on the January 6 hearings:


Thursday’s testimony focused on the role of Trump’s attorney, John Eastman, as the architect of the plan to disrupt the January 6 congressional certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election and install Trump in a second term.

Multiple witnesses said that Eastman and other Trump associates had been told that plan was illegal.

“Thanks to your b——t we are now under siege,” Greg Jacob, an attorney for Vice President Mike Pence, told Eastman on Jan. 6. Eastman countered that the attack on Capitol Hill was a result of Pence refusing to ignore the election results and move to make Trump president for a second term.

After the riot, Eastman argued in writing that the Voter Count Act that governs the certification of presidential elections “wasn’t all that sacrosanct.” As a result, Eastman pushed for “one more minor violation” by having Pence suspend congressional certification to allow various state legislatures to argue their case for a Trump victory before the American people.

Eastman ended up seeking a presidential pardon from Trump for his activities, which he did not receive.


Since the select committee’s creation, after congressional Republicans last year blocked the formation of an outside, independent commission, Trump and his backers have portrayed the House panel’s work as nothing more than a partisan effort by Democrats. .

But in the first three days of hearings, testimony came from Republican witnesses ranging from Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, and Trump’s former attorney general, William Barr, to Trump campaign and legal advisers. They have painted a picture of what they called an “unhinged” president ignoring repeated advice that Biden legally won the November 2020 election.

Instead, Trump has maintained his bogus claims that his loss was the result of fraud, a claim several former members of the Trump administration told the committee they knew to be false.

J. Michael Luttig, a retired judge and informal adviser to former Vice President Mike Pence, and Greg Jacob, Pence’s attorney, testified Thursday. John Wood, an investigator on the panel and who served in the administration of former Republican President George W. Bush, did much of the questioning.

“If it seems partisan, it’s only because all the witnesses against Donald Trump so far have been Republicans,” Democratic caucus member Jamie Raskin joked to reporters on Tuesday.


Throughout Thursday’s hearing, witnesses stressed that they were unable to find any basis to conclude that Pence on January 6 could have decided on his own that Trump won in 2020, even though Biden won both the popular and the popular vote. Electoral College vote by significant margins and no evidence. fraudulent vote.

“There was no basis in the Constitution or the laws of the United States for the theory advocated by Mr. Eastman. None,” Luttig testified.

Committee members and witnesses noted that if the vice president had such power, then-vice president Al Gore in 2000 could have declared himself the winner of that year’s disputed election with George W. Bush.

Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, testified that Trump “many times” and “directly” pressured Pence to overturn the 2020 outcome.

(Reporting by Richard Cowan and Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Scott Malone and Alistair Bell)

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