(WASHINGTON) — New details and never-before-seen photographs have emerged about the “heated” phone call between President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence on the morning of Jan. 6, 2021.
The information came out in the House select committee’s third public hearing this month in its investigation of the attack on the U.S. Capitol.
The panel on Thursday focused on the intense pressure placed on Pence by Trump and others to single-handedly overturn Joe Biden’s electoral victory in the 2020 presidential race.
Pence refused Trump’s last-ditch demands, which witnesses said sparked a mocking response from Trump.
The committee shared new photographs of Trump on that very phone call, which it obtained from the National Archives. Another exhibit showed a handwritten note on Trump’s schedule that the call was slated to take place at 11:20 a.m., just hours before a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol as Pence was presiding over Congress certifying Biden’s win.
“The conversation got pretty heated,” Ivanka Trump, the ex-president’s daughter who was in the room, told the committee in a videotaped deposition.
She recalled the phone call representing a “different tone” from what she’d previously heard her father use with Pence.
Other aides who were also inside the Oval Office echoed Ivanka Trump’s alarm.
Eric Herschmann, then was serving as the White House counsel, told lawmakers that the conversation started off with a “calmer tone” but “then it became heated.” Herschmann said he didn’t think many people were paying attention to the call until it became “louder.”
Nicholas Luna, Trump’s former assistant, told the committee he was delivering a note to the Oval Office when he overheard some of Trump’s side of the conversation.
“I remember hearing the word ‘wimp,'” Luna said in a taped deposition. “Either he called him a wimp, I don’t remember if he said, ‘You are a wimp, you’ll be a wimp.’ Wimp is the word I remember.”
Julie Radford, Ivanka Trump’s former chief of staff, said in her deposition she remembered being told by Ivanka Trump “her dad had just had an upsetting conversation with the vice president.”
Radford said she was told the former president had called Pence “the p-word.”
Retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg, Pence’s national security adviser at the time, said in a taped deposition that he remembers Trump telling Pence he wasn’t “tough enough.”
Greg Jacob, who served as Pence’s legal counsel between December 2020 and January 2021, testified live on Thursday about what he experienced on the other side of the call.
Jacob said he and several other people were with Pence finalizing his statement on why he couldn’t unilaterally reject state electors when Pence stepped out of the room to receive the call from Trump.
“No staff went with him,” Jacob told the committee.
After the call, Jacob testified, Pence appeared to be “steely, determined, grim.”
The House select committee on Thursday commended the former vice president for his “courage” in rejecting Trump’s demands.
“Donald Trump wanted Mike Pence to do something no other vice president has ever done,” Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said in his opening remarks.
“The former president wanted Pence to reject the votes and either declare Trump the winner, or send the votes back to the states to be counted again,” Thompson continued. “Mike Pence said no. He resisted the pressure. He knew it was illegal. He knew it was wrong.”
Rep. Pete Aguilar, a Democrat who led the hearing Thursday, said it was a “pressure campaign that built to a fever pitch with a heated phone call on Jan. 6.”
Jan. 6 Committee member Rep. Aguilar says Americans will hear “how Vice Pres. Pence withstood an onslaught of pressure from Pres. Trump, both publicly and privately.”
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) June 16, 2022
The committee also revealed new photographs of Pence and his family hiding in an underground location of the Capitol complex as Trump supporters stormed the building.
In one photo, Pence is seen looking at a tweet Trump had just sent asking rioters to leave the area.
Pence remained in the underground location for four hours as law enforcement officials eventually pushed back the mob.
Jacob, Pence’s former adviser, told the committee that Pence decided to stay in the area so as to “not to take any chance that the world would see the vice president of the United States fleeing the United States Capitol.”
Jacob also testified that Trump didn’t check in on Pence at all during that time, which left Pence frustrated.
ABC News on Wednesday published exclusively-obtained White House photos of the Pence family after he was evacuated from the Senate floor, where the joint session of Congress was taking place.
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