Jan. 6 hearing: Trump pressured Pence to illegally overturn 2020 election

During the Jan. 6 House select committee hearing on Thursday, Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., presented a passage from journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa’s book “Peril,” in which then-President Donald Trump called Mike Pence into the Oval Office to pressure the then vice president into overturning the electoral college vote on Jan. 6, 2021. When Pence refused the request, Trump reportedly said, “I don’t want to be your friend anymore if you don’t do this.”

Video transcript

GREG JACOB: At some point between 1 o'clock and 2 o'clock, as my meeting with Mr. Eastman was wrapping up, and when we, Marc Short and I, went over to meet with the vice president-- and actually, we thought maybe we had good news. We felt like we had sort of defeated Mr. Eastman. He was sort of acknowledging that there was no there there. But the vice president was then asked down to the Oval Office, and he went down to the Oval Office while Marc and I stayed back in the vice president's office.

PETE AGUILAR: You weren't in that meeting.

GREG JACOB: I was not.

PETE AGUILAR: In the book "Peril," journalist Bob Woodward and Robert Costa write that the president said, quote, "If these people say you have the power, wouldn't you want to?" The vice president says, quote, "I wouldn't want any one person to have that authority." The president responds, "But wouldn't it almost be cool to have that power?"

The vice president is reported to have said, "No. Look, I've read this, and I don't see a way to do it. We've exhausted every option. I've done everything I could and then some to find a way around this. It's simply not possible. My interpretation is 'no.'"

To which, the president says "No, no, no, you don't understand, Mike. You can do this. I don't want to be your friend anymore if you don't do this."

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