TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The House Committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol focused on former Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday, as well as alleged threats after Pence refused to reject electors.  

To try and make that case, the Jan. 6 panel presented testimony from those in Pence’s inner circle. The panel thought the revelations were so powerful, they reportedly considered holding Thursday’s hearings in prime time.

The major takeaway from Thursday was that Pence was under intense pressure, but did not crack.

As the mob breached the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, some in the crowd were chanting to hang the former vice president. The panel showed video of the former VP and his family being rushed away from rioters.

The mob was just 40 feet away, according to the panel.

The committee says former President Donald Trump knew the Capitol had been stormed but he still posted a tweet condemning Pence that said, “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our country.”

That intense pressure on Pence was the focus of Thursday’s hearing.

Trump and law professor John Eastman pushed the VP to stop the certification of the election in the days leading up to Jan. 6, according to the panel. They showed a clip of Eastman firing up the crowd hours before the attack.

“All we are demanding of Vice President Pence is – this afternoon at 1 p.m., he let the legislators of the state look into this so we get to the bottom of it,” Eastman said in the video.

Greg Jacob, the former White House counsel for Pence, was with him on the day of the attack. Prior to that, Jacob had advised the VP that it would be illegal to overturn the election.

“It is unambiguous that the vice president does not have the authority to reject electors.  There is no suggestion of any kind that it does,” said Mr. Jacob.

One of the goals of the panel is to prevent something like Jan. 6 from ever happening again.

“Donald Trump, and his allies, are a clear and present danger to American democracy,” said J. Michael Luttig, a leading conservative scholar and former federal judge.

Earlier this year, Pence rebuked Trump. The panel did not issue a subpoena to talk with the former VP. The committee says they received significant information from his aides.

Rep. Pete Aguilar, a Democrat from California, led the presentation of the evidence Thursday.

“Let me be clear, Vice President Pence did the right thing that day,” said Mr. Aguilar.

The committee will seek to interview conservative activist Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Two more hearings have been scheduled for this month. 

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