Mike Pence Is Now Under Investigation By Jan 6 Committee

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According to member Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), the House committee investigating the Capitol riot will be looking into the actions of then-Vice President Mike Pence, specifically regarding the theory within the then-president’s circles that Pence could essentially stop the Congressional certification of Joe Biden’s election victory of his own accord. Pence did not actually possess the legal power to undertake such a move, but conservative lawyer John Eastman was among those promoting assertions otherwise — and in recent comments to The New York Times, Eastman said that Pence’s then-chief legal counsel Marc Jacob seemed to be “looking for a way for he and Pence to be convinced to take the action that we were requesting.”

Eastman’s comments suggest that Pence did not outright reject the push for him to stand in the way of the Congressional certification of the presidential election outcome, which was scheduled for the same day that the Capitol riot took place. As Raskin pointedly put it:

‘It’s an important part of the historical record to determine how close Trump actually came to achieving his scheme of getting Pence to declare unilateral power to reject electoral college votes.’

As summarized by the Post, Eastman’s proposals included a suggestion for Pence to “delay” the formal tabulation of electoral votes — which, again, is not a legally outlined power that is actually possessed by the vice president. The theory went, though, that undertaking that move “would kick things back to the states, where GOP legislators could send rogue electors for Trump in defiance of the popular vote and Pence could then refuse to count the real electors, triggering a contingent election in the House decided for Trump by state delegations,” the Post explains. If the House was to decide a presidential election, then the law declares that each individual state delegation was to receive one vote. Republicans led enough state delegations at the time to deliver Trump a victory.

Troublingly, Raskin observed that onlookers “know that there are now huge numbers of Republican politicians” who’d be willing to “do precisely what Trump was asking Pence to do.” Raskin added as follows:

‘The structural weaknesses exposed by this episode are a looming danger for the republic. We need to act within the electoral college paradigm to do whatever we can to make sure the vice-presidential role remains an administrative and ministerial one.’

The committee has already requested government records relating to Jacob, Pence’s former chief legal counsel — and committee members have indicated that the panel has received significant troves of information in response to its broader requests.