‘The system held, but barely’: Jan. 6 hearings highlight a handful of close calls

“Nearly every component of Trump’s plan revolved around then-Vice President Mike Pence succumbing to pressure. In Trump’s view, Pence — who presided over the counting of state electors on Jan. 6, 2021 — could single-handedly reject Biden’s electors or postpone the count altogether and let GOP state legislatures approve pro-Trump electors instead.

Pence, relying on the advice of his counsel Greg Jacob, balked at Trump’s strategy. Jacob and other White House lawyers repeatedly told Trump the scheme was illegal.

Even that could’ve gone differently. Jacob has also made clear that there was one scenario in which Pence might have been obligated to flip the outcome: if any state legislatures had actually pulled the trigger and adopted Trump electors. In that scenario — where a state legislature and governor have certified competing slates, with one saying Biden won and the other declaring the state for Trump — Jacob said it would be reasonable to defer to the text of the Constitution, which gives state legislatures the ultimate power to choose electors.

“A reasonable argument might further be made that when resolving a dispute between competing electoral slates … the Constitution places a firm thumb on the scale on the side of the State legislature,” Jacob wrote.

That’s why John Eastman, an attorney who designed much of Trump’s plans to stay in power, spent the final hours before the riot on Jan. 6 pushing Pence to delay — contending that Pennsylvania’s legislature appeared on the verge of reconvening to appoint Trump electors. Had Pence or Jacob agreed to a delay — particularly as the Capitol recovered — Trump, Eastman and lawyer Rudy Giuliani intended to use the time to bring legislatures back into season.”

Hundreds of law enforcement officials were prepped early for potential Jan. 6 violence

“it raises more questions about why the U.S. Capitol Police weren’t ready for chaos on Jan. 6.

“The intelligence was there in blinking neon lights, yet Capitol Police leadership went willfully blind,” Shapiro said in a statement. “The question is why. Why did Capitol Police leadership ignore the clear threat”

Intelligence reports warned about a pandemic in January. Trump reportedly ignored them.

“Top health officials first learned of the virus’s spread in China on January 3, US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Friday. Throughout January and February, intelligence officials’ warnings became more and more urgent, according to the Post — and by early February, much of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the CIA’s intelligence reports were dedicated to warnings about Covid-19.

All the while, Trump downplayed the virus publicly, telling the public the coronavirus “is very well under control in our country,” and suggesting warm weather would neutralize the threat the virus poses.

Privately, Trump reportedly rebutted health and intelligence officials’ attempts to get him to take action to prepare communities in the US while rebuking officials who were delivering sober risk assessments.”

“Trump is finally taking the virus more seriously, but it’s still unclear how widespread the effects of delays in action will be.”