Previously unreleased photographs from inside the White House provided to the House select committee investigating the attack on the US Capitol on 6 January, 2021 show then-president Donald Trump with his children and aides inside the Oval Office that day.
The images show Mr Trump and Donald Trump Jr, Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump and chief aides and members of the administartion at the White House as the joint session of Congress convened to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election, which the former president baselessly asserted as fraudulent and stolen. Mr Trump is also photographed on the phone.
A committee investigating the events leading up to and surrounding the assault by a pro-Trump mob in the halls of Congress that day heard evidence on 16 June that people close to Mr Trump repeatedly told him that his attempts to overturn the results were illegal yet pressed forward with a spurious bid to pressure his vice president Mike Pence to do so.
Attorney John Eastman also asked for a pardon despite pushing a plan to pressure Mr Pence to unilaterally reject electoral votes from swing states won by Joe Biden, according to committee testimony.
In taped deposition provided to the committee, Mr Pence’s counsel at the time, Greg Jacob, said Mr Trump was advised that his attempts were illegal during an Oval Office meeting two days before the attack.
At the meeting, Mr Eastman reportedly told Mr Trump that his plan violated the Electoral Count Act, an 1887 law governing the procedures by which Congress certifies elections.
On 6 January, Mr Trump posted on Twitter a memo floating the theory that Mr Pence could decide the outcome of the election during the joint session of Congress.
Ivanka Trump testified that she overheard her father on the phone in the Oval Office with Mr Pence, who Mr Trump called a “wimp” and “too weak”, according to former Trump assistant Nicholas Luna.
“Either he called him a wimp, I don’t remember, he said ‘you are a wimp, you’ll be a wimp’ – wimp is the word I remember,” Mr Luna added.
Ivanka Trump described the call as “pretty heated” and with a “different tone than I had heard him take with the vice president before”.
General Keith Kellogg, a former national security advisor to Mr Pence, told the panel that Mr Trump told Mr Pence “you’re not tough enough to make the call”.
Julie Radford, a former chief of staff to Ms Trump, said she told her that “her dad had just had an upsetting conversation with the vice president”.
Ms Radford said Ms Trump said her father called Mr Pence “the P-word”.
Following news that a mob had breached the Capitol grounds, Mr Trump – reportedly after the call – – then posted that his vice president “didn’t have the courage” to overturn the results, enraging rioters and leading them to chant “hang Mike Pence” as they marched through the halls.
Mr Jacob said that the vice president was not deterred despite the attacks from Mr Trump.
“When he came back into the room, I’d say that he was steely, determined, grim,” Mr Jacob said.
During the riot, Mr Jacob reportedly sent an email to Mr Eastman, telling him “thanks to your bulls***, we are now under siege”.
Mr Eastman allegedly wrote in response that the “siege is because you and your boss did not do what was necessary to allow this to be aired in a public way so the American people could see for themselves what happened.”