January 6 panel reviews Pence’s lobbying campaign on third day of hearings

Washington— The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol holds the third in its series of hearings on Thursday, with lawmakers focusing on former President Donald Trump’s campaign to pressure the former Vice President Mike Pence to reject electoral votes.

Two aides to Pence are scheduled to testify at Thursday’s hearing, which is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.: Greg Jacob, Pence’s former attorney, and J. Michael Luttig, a retired federal judge who advised Pence in the aftermath of the election of 2020. Two people familiar with Luttig’s expected testimony, who were not authorized to discuss the details of the hearing, told CBS News that he is expected to tell the committee that “American democracy was almost stolen from him”. The committee will also show taped footage of an interview with Marc Short, who was Pence’s chief of staff.

Committee aides said the hearing will be divided into four sections. First, the committee will explore the emergence of the conservative advocate theory John Eastman and others that the vice president could unilaterally reject from voters at the Jan. 6, 2021, congressional meeting. Then aides said the committee would focus on having that theory rejected by Pence’s lawyers, a ” group of committed officials who have kept their oath”. and gave Pence “sound advice” that he had no authority to overturn the election results.

Aides said the committee would then explore the pressure campaign on Pence, with Trump both participating and trying to rally his supporters to get them to lobby the vice president themselves. The committee will argue that this directly contributed to the attack on the Capitol and put Pence’s life in danger.

Finally, aides said the committee would argue that there is a continuing threat to democracy because there are prominent figures who still argue the election was rigged, including Trump himself.

Eastman became a key figure in the committee’s investigation into the Jan. 6 preparedness, as congressional investigators had access to a trove of emails he sent and received in the weeks leading up to the attack.

The committee got exchanges between Eastman and Ginni Thomas, a conservative activist and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, two sources told CBS News on Wednesday. Ginni Thomas’ role in the wake of the election came under intense scrutiny in March after CBS News and the Washington Post reported text messages she emailed former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows urging him to overturn the election results.

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