Speed Reads

day 3

Luttig: I would have 'laid my body across the road' before allowing Pence to overturn election

Former federal Judge J. Michael Luttig delivered strong testimony during the third public Jan. 6 hearing on Thursday, telling investigators that if former President Donald Trump had succeeded in pressuring then-Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the results of the 2020 election, it would have been "the first constitutional crisis since the founding of the republic."

"The declaration of Donald Trump as the next president would have plunged America into what I believe, would have been tantamount to a revolution within a constitutional crisis in America," Luttig testified.

The former judge, a conservative legal icon who advised Pence about his Jan. 6 duties, also said he would have "laid my body across the road" before allowing the vice president to overturn the results of the 2020 contest on the basis of a faulty legal theory from attorney John Eastman. Eastman had claimed the 12th Amendment could be interpreted so as to allow the vice president to reject state electors or declare the winner of an election, The Hill summarizes.

Trump himself continues to be "a clear and present danger to American democracy," Luttig argued.

And as for the GOP, well, Luttig didn't mince words in that department, either. "The former president's party cynically and embarrassingly rationalizes Jan. 6 as having been something between hallowed, legitimate public discourse and a visitors tour of the Capitol that got out of hand," he said. "Jan. 6, of course, was neither, and the former president and his party know that."

Luttig was one of two witnesses to speak during the third public hearing, the other being Greg Jacob, former counsel to the vice president.