Previously unreleased photos from inside the White House provided to the select House committee investigating the attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 show then-President Donald Trump with his children and aides in the Oval Office day.
The images show Mr. Trump and Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump and key aides and members of the administration in the White House as the joint session of Congress met to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election, which will former president falsely claimed as fraudulent and stolen. Mr Trump is also photographed on the phone.
A committee investigating the events leading up to and surrounding the attack by a pro-Trump mob in congressional halls that day heard evidence on June 16 that people close to Mr Trump repeatedly told him that his efforts to undo were illegal, yet were pressured forward with a bogus bid to pressure his Vice President Mike Pence to do so.
Attorney John Eastman also asked for a pardon despite pushing for a plan to pressure Pence to unilaterally reject Joe Biden’s election votes, according to committee testimony.
In an audio recording provided to the committee, then-Pence counsel, Greg Jacob, said Trump had been informed during an Oval Office meeting two days before the attack that his attempts were illegal.
At the meeting, Mr. Eastman reportedly told Mr. Trump that his plan violated the Electoral Count Act, an 1887 law that regulates the procedures by which Congress confirms elections.
On Jan. 6, Mr. Trump posted a memo on Twitter that theorized that Mr. Pence could determine the outcome of the election during the joint session of Congress.
Ivanka Trump testified that she overheard her father on the phone with Mr. Pence, who called Mr. Trump a “dummy” and “too weak.”
Following news that a mob had invaded the Capitol grounds, Mr. Trump — reportedly after the call — posted that his vice president “didn’t have the courage” to overturn the results, infuriating rioters and prompting them brought to chant “hang Mike Pence”. ‘ as they marched through the halls.
Mr Jacob said the vice president was not deterred despite Mr Trump’s attacks.
“When he got back to the room, I’d say he was steely, determined, and grim,” Mr. Jacob said.
During the riots, Mr. Jacob is said to have sent an email to Mr. Eastman, telling him: “Thanks to your bulls*** we are now under siege”.
Mr Eastman is said to have written in response that it is “martial law because you and your boss did not do what it took to have this aired publicly so that the American people could see for themselves what happened.”