The House select committee investigating the Capitol riot said Thursday that Vice President Mike Pence was in danger after he rebuffed President Donald Trump's scheme to stop the election of Joe Biden.
The committee also revealed that the lawyer who devised the scheme, John Eastman, asked for a pardon before Trump left office.
Pence turned back entreaties by Trump to reject the Electoral College votes giving the presidency to Biden. An informant later told the FBI that members of the Proud Boys said they would have killed Pence if given the chance.
On Jan. 6, 2020, the vice president sheltered underground as a mob overran the Capitol shouting," Hang Mike Pence."
Trump earlier told Pence, "I don’t want to be your friend anymore if you don’t do this."
Catch up on Thursday's hearing through the following videos.
Cheney: Trump Knew His Plan Was Illegal
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Eastman, the lawyer working for Trump to stop Biden from becoming president, acknowledged in Trump's presence that his plan violated the Electoral Count Act, Pence's general counsel testified. Eastman wanted Pence to either reject the Electoral College votes or to declare a recess and return the votes to what Trump's team claimed were states in dispute, the general counsel, Greg Jacob, said.
Trump: 'I Don't Want to Be Your Friend'
Trump and Pence had a contentious telephone call the morning of Jan. 6, witnesses recounted.
"The conversation was pretty heated," the president's daughter, Ivanka Trump, said.
Trump at one point called Pence a "wimp," and told him he did not have the courage to make a hard decision, witnesses said.
'Hang Mike Pence'
Rioters at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2020, threatened the life of the vice president, chanting "Bring out Pence" and "Hang Mike Pence" on the grounds of the Capitol where a scaffold and noose had been erected.
Pence Refuses to Leave Capitol
Pence hid in an underground safe spot as rioters overran the Capitol but refused to get into a car that the Secret Service had waiting for him, his general counsel testified. The vice president did not want to be seen fleeing from the mob, Jacob told the House committee.
Eastman Asks for Pardon
Eastman was among a number of Trump aides and advisers who sought pardons before Biden assumed office, the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot revealed.
Trump Allies Pressure Pence
Trump launched a campaign of private and public pressure on Pence, the committee said. "I hope that our great vice president, our great vice president, comes through for us," Trump says on videotape at a rally. "He's a great guy. Of course if he doesn't come through I won't like him quite as much."
The vice president did not waver in his opposition to the plan, his aides said
The chairman of the House committee warned that Trump and his allies are continuing to try to seize power. Rep. Bennie Thompson thanked Pence for his courage in withstanding the pressure exerted by Trump and his allies but cautioned that the system could still fail.