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Georgia again played role in Jan. 6 Committee investigation as lawmakers held third hearing

From President Donald Trump's Jan. 4, 2021 speech in Dalton to references to "alternate electors" Georgia played a role in the Jan. 6 Committee's third hearing.

ATLANTA — During each of the January 6 Committee's three hearings, Georgia has played a role as evidence and testimony are presented to the public.

On Thursday the committee focused on the pressure then-President Donald Trump put on Vice President Mike Pence in the weeks between the November 2020 presidential election and the vice president certifying the results during a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6. 

Trump's last public speech before Jan. 6 came two days earlier in Dalton, Georgia at a Republican rally on the eve of the U.S. Senate runoffs. 

"Rather than focusing exclusively on the Georgia Senate runoff, Trump turned his attention to Mike Pence," said committee member Rep. Pete Aguilar, a Democratic lawmaker from California, during Thursday's hearing. 

"I hope that our great Vice President, our great Vice President comes through for us. He is a great guy. Of course, if he doesn't come through I won't like him quite as much," Trump said during that speech in Dalton.

RELATED: Jan. 6 panel: Mob that stormed Capitol was within 40 feet of Pence

Weeks earlier Georgia's electoral votes had been certified for now-President Joe Biden during a meeting inside the Georgia State Capitol. 

"I'm pleased to announce that Joseph R. Biden has received 16 votes for President of the United States," Stacey Abrams said, who served as one of the state's electors.

But that same day David Shafer, the chairman of Georgia's Republican party, tweeted members of his party had also met to cast their own votes in support of Trump.

On Thursday the committee showed Trump's attorney John Eastman had tried in the days leading up to Jan. 6 to convince Pence he should reject certified electoral college votes for Biden from seven states and instead accept "alternate" electoral votes for Trump. 

The committee had previously issued subpoenas for individuals across several states involved with issuing "alternate electors."

Shafer was one of two individuals from Georgia to receive such a subpoena, according to the committee.

During Thursday's hearing, the committee also presented evidence that Pence didn't agree with Eastman's plan and testimony and evidence suggested even Eastman knew the plan was illegal but he pushed it anyway, as did Trump on Jan. 6.

"Mike Pence I hope you're going to stand up for the good of our constitution," Trump said during his speech that day near the Capitol Building. 

The committee played audio of an individual on a bullhorn shouting before the insurrection, "Mike Pence has betrayed the United States of America."

Evidence showed when the crowd outside the Capitol Building in D.C. realized Pence wouldn't follow team Trump's plan, the violence began. 

"Bring out Pence! Bring out Pence!" rioters could be heard shouting in videos played Thursday. 

The committee then showed never-before-seen photos and video of Pence being rushed by the Secret Service to a secure location inside the Capitol complex. According to the committee's evidence, rioters would come within 40 feet of Pence as he made his way to that location.


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