Justice Dept. Seeking to Question Pence in Jan. 6 Investigation

In that period of time, Mr. Trump began to publicly pressure Mr. Pence, as well as officials in Georgia, to go along with his efforts to remain in office. At the same time, Mr. Trump began using his Twitter account to try to draw a crowd to Washington for a “protest” at the Ellipse near the White House on Jan. 6, the day of the congressional certification.

The Times has previously reported that Mr. Pence’s chief of staff, Mr. Short, called Mr. Pence’s lead Secret Service agent, Tim Giebels, to his West Wing office on Jan. 5, 2021. When Mr. Giebels arrived at Mr. Short’s office, the chief of staff said that the president was going to turn on the vice president, and that they would have a security risk because of it, a conversation that Mr. Short described to the House select committee. The committee released a video snippet of Mr. Short discussing it at one of its public hearings this year.

Mr. Trump addressed the crowd at the Ellipse at midday on Jan. 6 and again pressured Mr. Pence, whom he had called a few hours earlier in a further effort to persuade him to go along with the last-ditch plan to block the certification.

In his address at the Ellipse, Mr. Trump said: “You’re never going to take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong.”

He went on: “So I hope Mike has the courage to do what he has to do. And I hope he doesn’t listen to the RINOs and the stupid people that he’s listening to.”

A short time later, Mr. Trump’s supporters marched to the Capitol, where Mr. Pence was. Hundreds of them stormed the building, smashing windows and barreling through doors, forcing Mr. Pence, his wife and his daughter to flee his office in the Capitol and take refuge on a loading dock underground. He stayed there and made calls to senior officials to try to get the situation under control, as Mr. Trump watched the coverage of the riot on television at the White House.

Mr. Pence wrote about the experience in his book, and has since described his anger that Mr. Trump was “reckless” and “endangered” Mr. Pence and his family.

Glenn Thrush contributed reporting.

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