Trump Knew He was Asking Mike Pence to Break the Law

Statement of Common Cause President Karen Hobert Flynn 

Donald Trump and his attorneys knew that they were asking then-Vice President to violate the law and his oath of office by rejecting electoral votes on January 6th.   Testimony today before the January 6th Committee by Trump administration officials and attorneys made that abundantly clear. Former president-Trump and his attorney John Eastman showed their contempt for the rule of law and that they were willing to do almost anything to avoid the peaceful transfer of power after losing the 2020 presidential election. That is precisely why Eastman asked for a presidential pardon before Donald Trump eventually left office.

The threat posed by Donald Trump has not ended simply because he is no longer President of the United States. It is ongoing. Trump and his followers have made it clear that they would try to overturn the 2024 presidential election if they lose again. As Judge J. Michael Luttig testified today, former-President Trump and his allies and supporters “remain a clear and present danger to American democracy.”

Mike Pence should not be lionized for refusing to break the law, overturn an election, and violate his oath of office. But he did his job under immense pressure that the former president and his allies brought to bear. The Select Committee’s Vice Chair Cheney described at the first hearing the chilling information the Committee received about the former president expressing support for Vice President Pence’s violent death on January 6, reportedly saying he “deserv[ed] it.” These hearings are a visceral reminder that free and fair elections are the bedrock of our democracy and we must work to bolster their resilience. We came incredibly close to losing them.