Jan. 6 Panel Delays Wednesday Hearing to Give Staff Time to Prepare

WASHINGTON — The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol has postponed a hearing that was scheduled for Wednesday to lay out its findings about President Donald J. Trump’s attempt to use the Justice Department to overturn the 2020 election, the panel said on Tuesday.

“It’s just technical issues,” said Representative Zoe Lofgren, Democrat of California and a member of the committee. She said that for staff aides who were compiling a series of videos to be showcased at the session, “it was overwhelming, so we’re trying to give them a little room.”

“It’s not a big deal,” she added, telling reporters that the delay was not a substantive issue or related to the availability of witnesses.

The panel is still scheduled to hold a hearing on Thursday focusing on Mr. Trump’s pressure campaign against Vice President Mike Pence to try to persuade him to throw out Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory.

That hearing is expected to include potentially important revelations about the steps Mr. Trump and his allies took to try to compel his vice president to overturn the election.

J. Michael Luttig, a conservative judge who advised the vice president, is scheduled to testify. Judge Luttig advised Mr. Pence that Mr. Trump’s idea that the vice president could unilaterally decide to invalidate election results was unconstitutional, and that he should not go along with the plan.

Also scheduled to appear is Greg Jacob, Mr. Pence’s top White House lawyer, who has provided the committee with crucial evidence about the role played by the conservative lawyer John Eastman, who wrote a memo that members of both parties have described as a blueprint for a coup.

Mr. Eastman advised Mr. Trump that Mr. Pence could throw out electoral votes from states he had lost, though he conceded during a conversation with Mr. Jacob that his arguments carried no legal weight and would fail before the Supreme Court.

As the mob attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6 — some of them chanting “Hang Mike Pence!” — Mr. Jacob fired off an email to Mr. Eastman blaming him for the violence.

“Thanks to your bullshit, we are now under siege,” Mr. Jacob wrote at 12:14 p.m.

“It was gravely, gravely irresponsible for you to entice the president with an academic theory that had no legal viability,” Mr. Jacob wrote in a subsequent email to Mr. Eastman.

The committee could also hear testimony about Mr. Trump’s state of mind during the violence.

Representative Liz Cheney, Republican of Wyoming and the vice chairwoman, said last week that the panel had received testimony that when Mr. Trump learned of the mob’s threats to hang Mr. Pence, he said, “Maybe our supporters have the right idea,” and added that Mr. Pence “deserves it.”

The committee could also hear testimony that a day before the mob violence, Mr. Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, grew so concerned about Mr. Trump’s actions that he presented a warning to a Secret Service agent: The president was going to publicly turn against the vice president, and there could be a security risk to Mr. Pence because of it.

Maggie Haberman contributed reporting.


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