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Former federal judge Michael Luttig has a clear message for the January 6 committee

Retired federal Judge J. Michael Luttig, a staunch conservative long admired by many Republicans, will testify before the House of Representatives. january 6 committee Thursday with an urgent and forceful message to the panel about former President Donald Trump’s efforts to nullify the 2020 election: “America’s democracy was almost stolen from it.”

Departure of Boeing executive
FILE – In this 2016 file photo, Boeing’s J. Michael Luttig speaks at the Florence Civic Center during the annual luncheon for members of the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce in Florence, South Carolina.

Joe Perry/The Morning News via AP

Luttig is also likely to state that the Republican National Committee was wrong to refer to some of the events of January 6, 2021 as “legitimate political speech” and warn your fellow conservatives not to ignore the seriousness of what Trump did as he fought to cling to the presidency that day.

The retired judge’s planned comments were confirmed to CBS News by two people familiar with his expected testimony who were not authorized to discuss details of the hearing.

It will also reveal how he advised then-Vice President Mike Pence to resist Trump’s pleas for Pence to block Congressional certification of Joe Biden’s election victory.

A person familiar with Luttig’s planned testimony said he sees his appearance before the committee as a serious and sobering moment akin to an appearance before the US Supreme Court.

Pence’s attorneys and aides approached Luttig before the congressional certification, seeking his guidance and a conservative nod on Pence’s decision. Luttig ended up briefly serving as an informal outside adviser to the vice president’s team.

Luttig’s role in that episode attracted the committee’s interest. He has long said that he would be willing to share his story and his perspective on the state of the Republican Party and American democracy.

“If Congress invites me, of course I’d be happy to testify,” Luttig told CBS News in April.

Pence’s former attorney, Greg Jacob, will also testify before the committee on Thursday. Both Jacob and Luttig advised Pence to avoid doing anything to break congressional certification of the election, and to ignore the advice of conservative attorney and Trump ally John Eastman, a former Luttig employee.

Eastman wrote a two-page memo, accepted by Trump, arguing that the vice president could take steps to delay certification and allow states to submit alternative lists of voters for Congress to consider.

A federal judge recently tidy Eastman to deliver 159 documents to the House select committee.

US District Judge David O. Carter, who has been overseeing the records dispute between Eastman and the House panel, said the last tranche to be disclosed is not covered by attorney-client privilege or protected work product, as the conservative attorney claimed. The 159 documents were part of a larger batch of nearly 600 documents that Eastman fought to protect from the committee. Carter said that 440 of them were privileged and protected from disclosure.

Melissa Quinn contributed to this report.

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