Former President Donald Trump expressed approval when a mob of his loyalists shouted “Hang Mike Pence” during the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol building, a former White House aide has said.
During testimony with the House select committee investigating the events of January 6, 2021, Cassidy Hutchinson, who served under Trump’s former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, said that Trump expressed positive feelings toward the mob calling for his then-vice president’s death. According to Hutchinson, this information was divulged to her by Meadows, who recounted Trump’s words shortly after he said them.
Hutchinson’s testimony corroborated a separate deposition from an unnamed witnessAccording to a New York Times report that cited sources familiar with the committee’s work.
Hutchinson said that Trump expressed dismay when Pence, who was being escorted to safety during Capitol breach, added Hutchinson.
Trump and his inner circle relied on Pence for help the day before the attack. A plan to keep the former president at powerDespite his 2020 electoral loss against Joe Biden. The plan was to present a false slate of Electoral College votes from several states that Biden won, which would be counted as superior (or at least equal) to legitimate electors’ votes. To make the plan work, Pence had either to refuse to count legitimate votes or to send the matter to Congress for a decision.
Pence was right to refuse to participate in the scheme. The U.S. Constitution forbids such behavior. — no clause in the document grants the vice president a role in the counting of Electoral College votes, save for a symbolic one.
Even though it would be unconstitutional for Pence to take part in the scheme, Trump pressured his vice president to do so at various points on January 6 — including in a speech that took place at the White HouseDirectly before the attack on Congress.
“If Mike Pence does the right thing, we win the election,” Trump said to the crowd of his loyalists. “All he has to do…is send it back to the states to recertify and we become president and you are the happiest people.”
Trump also attacked Pence via Twitter after the attack had started.
“Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify,” Trump wrote.
There is no evidence to suggest that widespread fraud influenced the outcome of the 2020 presidential elections. Most of the claims Trump and his associates made suggesting otherwise have been completely disproven.
Trump’s spokesperson has denied the allegationsHe said that he was happy when his supporters demanded Mike Pence be hanged. However, Hutchinson’s testimony aligns with other former Trump aides’ descriptions of Trump’s feelings on the day of the attack.
Stephanie Grisham, who previously served as Trump’s White House press secretary, was in the White House during the Capitol attack. She testified earlier this year to the January 6 committee. She told the media after her deposition that Trump was “gleefully watching on his TV” as the attack was unfolding.
Trump said that he was unable to comment on the matter after being pressed late last year. ABC News’s Jonathan Karl said it was “common sense” for his loyalists to chant for Pence’s hanging.