WASHINGTON — He began the day with a prayer.
Vice President Mike Pence, making ready to face up to the ultimate stage of a relentless marketing campaign by President Donald J. Trump to pressure him to illegally attempt to overturn the outcomes of the 2020 election, started Jan. 6, 2021, surrounded by aides at his official residence on the Naval Observatory, asking God for steerage.
The group was anticipating a troublesome day. However what adopted over the subsequent 12 hours was extra harrowing than they imagined.
An offended mob with baseball bats and pepper spray chanting “cling Mike Pence” got here inside 40 toes of the vice chairman. Mr. Pence’s Secret Service element needed to hustle him to security and maintain him for almost 5 hours within the bowels of the Capitol. Mr. Trump referred to as Mr. Pence a “wimp” and worse in a rough and abusive name that morning from the Oval Workplace, Mr. Trump’s daughter and former White Home aides testified.
And a confidential witness who traveled to Washington with members of a far-right militia later advised investigators the group would have killed Mr. Pence — and Speaker Nancy Pelosi — in the event that they acquired the possibility.
These have been among the many extraordinary new particulars that emerged throughout the third public listening to held Thursday by the Home Choose Committee to Examine the Jan. 6 Assault on the US Capitol.
Mr. Pence’s day dawned because it usually did. The vice chairman, whose evangelical religion was a promoting level for including him to the presidential ticket in 2016 however usually a supply of skepticism for Mr. Trump, was joined by three folks in prayer: his chief counsel, Greg Jacob; his chief of employees, Marc Brief; and his director of legislative affairs, Chris Hodgson
Mr. Pence and the staff had been subjected to a barrage of calls for from Mr. Trump that the vice chairman refuse to certify Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s Electoral School victory in a joint session of Congress — an unconstitutional motion by no means earlier than taken within the two and a half centuries for the reason that nation’s founding.
“We simply requested for steerage and knowledge, understanding the day was going to be a difficult one,” Mr. Brief mentioned in videotaped testimony performed by the committee.
Whereas Mr. Pence was on the Naval Observatory, Mr. Trump was within the Oval Workplace with aides and relations trickling out and in, together with Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Lara Trump, Kimberly Guilfoyle and Ivanka Trump. He had already despatched two Twitter posts additional urgent Mr. Pence, the primary at 1 am The second, at 8 am, concluded, “Do it Mike, this can be a time for excessive braveness!”
At 11:20 am, Mr. Trump referred to as Mr. Pence, who stepped away from his aides to take the decision.
The group within the Oval Workplace might hear Mr. Trump’s aspect of the decision however paid little consideration to what appeared to start out as a routine dialog. However as Mr. Trump grew to become more and more heated that Mr. Pence was holding agency in his refusal to provide in, the decision grew to become exhausting to disregard.
The Themes of the Jan. 6 Home Committee Hearings
“I keep in mind listening to the phrase ‘wimp,’” Nick Luna, an aide to Mr. Trump, mentioned in videotaped testimony. “‘Wimp’ is the phrase I keep in mind.”
Ivanka Trump, the president’s older daughter and a former high White Home adviser, mentioned in her videotaped testimony that “it was a distinct tone than I heard him take with the vice chairman earlier than.”
Ms. Trump’s chief of employees, Julie Radford, appeared in videotaped testimony to say that Ms. Trump advised her shortly after the decision that Mr. Trump had an “upsetting” dialog with Mr. Pence. The president, Ms. Radford mentioned, used “the P phrase.” (The New York Instances reported beforehand that Mr. Trump had advised Mr. Pence, “You may both go down in historical past as a patriot or you possibly can go down in historical past as a pussy,” in response to two folks briefed on the dialog.)
Over on the Naval Observatory, Mr. Pence returned to the room after taking the decision trying “steely,” “decided” and “grim,”‘ his former aides advised the committee.
Mr. Trump delivered within the meantime a revised a speech that he later that day to throngs of supporters on the Ellipse. An early draft of the speech, the committee mentioned, included no point out of Mr. Pence. However after the decision, the president included language that video footage confirmed riled up the mob.
“I hope Mike goes to do the appropriate factor,” Mr. Trump mentioned in his speech. “I hope so. I hope so. As a result of if Mike Pence does the appropriate factor, we win.”
“All Vice President Pence has to do is ship it again to the states to recertify and we grow to be president and you’re the happiest folks,” Mr. Trump continued, referring to one in every of his calls for that Mr. Pence ship the election outcomes again to the states, a delaying tactic that he hoped would in the end hold him in workplace. If Mr. Pence did not comply, Mr. Trump advised the group, “that will likely be a tragic day for our nation.”
He added, “So I hope Mike has the braveness to do what he has to do. And I hope he would not hearken to the RINOs and the silly people who he is listening to,” utilizing the time period for “Republicans in title solely.”
Mr. Trump directed his supporters to march to the Capitol and make themselves heard.
By the point Mr. Pence arrived on the Capitol together with his spouse, Karen Pence, and their daughter Charlotte, an offended mob was already massing outdoors.
Inside, because the joint session started, Mr. Pence’s aides launched a memo to the general public laying out the vice chairman’s view that he didn’t have the facility over the certification that Mr. Trump and his lawyer, John Eastman, insisted he did.
Shortly after 2:10 pm, the proceedings have been interrupted by loud noises. The mob was swarming into the constructing. At 2:24 pm — when Democrats on the committee mentioned Mr. Trump was conscious that the Capitol had been breached — the president posted to Twitter that “Mike Pence did not have the braveness to do what was crucial.”
At that time, the Secret Service had moved Mr. Pence from the Senate chamber to his workplace throughout the corridor. His advisers mentioned the noise from the rioters had grow to be audible, main them to imagine that they had entered the constructing. But there was not but a pervasive sense of alarm.
As soon as in his workplace, Mr. Pence sat together with his household, together with his brother, Consultant Greg Pence and high aides as Mr. Brief ducked downstairs to seize some meals. Mrs. Pence drew the curtains to maintain the rioters from trying in.
Mr. Brief made his means again to the workplace. By then, Tim Giebels, the lead Secret Service agent for Mr. Pence, had made a couple of makes an attempt to nudge Mr. Pence and his household to maneuver to a distinct location. However quickly he was now not making a suggestion. Mr. Pence, he mentioned, needed to get to security.
The entourage started to make its means down a stairway towards an underground loading dock — the purpose at which they got here inside 40 toes of the rioters. Mr. Pence and his aides didn’t know on the time simply how shut they have been to the mob, a few of whom have been threatening to kill him.
“I might hear the din of the rioters within the constructing,” Mr. Jacob mentioned Thursday on the listening to. “I do not assume I used to be conscious they have been as shut as that.”
From the loading dock, Mr. Pence dealt with calls to congressional leaders who had been evacuated from the Capitol advanced and ordered the Pentagon to ship within the Nationwide Guard. The Secret Service directed him to get right into a automobile and evacuate, however he refused to go away the constructing.
“The vice chairman didn’t wish to take any probability that the world would see the vice chairman of the US fleeing the US Capitol,” Mr. Jacob mentioned Thursday, noting that Mr. Pence didn’t wish to give the rioters the satisfaction of disrupting the proceedings greater than that they had already executed. “He was decided that we’d full the work that we had set out to try this day.”
One particular person he by no means spoke with once more that day was Mr. Trump, who didn’t name to examine on Mr. Pence’s security. Neither did the White Home chief of employees, Mark Meadows.
Simply after 8 pm, the Senate chamber opened once more, after the rioters had been cleared from the advanced.
“At this time was a darkish day within the historical past of the US Capitol,” Mr. Pence mentioned because the proceedings started once more. He was greeted with applause when he mentioned, “Let’s get again to work.”
Again on the White Home, egged on by a few of his advisers, Mr. Trump advised aides he needed to bar Mr. Brief from coming into the West Wing from then on.
At 3:42 within the morning, it was throughout. Mr. Biden’s victory had been licensed.
At 3:50 am, as Mr. Pence and Mr. Brief went their separate methods, Mr. Brief texted his boss a passage from the Bible.
“I’ve fought the nice combat, I’ve completed the race, I’ve saved the religion,” the message learn.