Five Republicans from the US House of Representatives asked then-President Donald Trump for a pardon for their role in the plan to change the 2020 election results. That became clear Thursday during a public hearing of the parliamentary committee investigating the storming of the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

    They are Mo Brooks, Matt Gaetz, Andy Biggs, Louie Gohmert and Scott Perry. The five Republicans attended a meeting with the president in December 2020 to discuss options for changing the election results. They asked about the possibility of a so-called preventive pardon, which the president can grant before a sentence is imposed or someone is even found guilty of a crime.

    A preventive pardon is not common in the United States, but has happened before. Gerald Ford gave one to his predecessor Richard Nixon in 1974. He had resigned over the Watergate scandal, but no charges had yet been filed against him.

    archive image. Police officers try to stop Trump supporters storming the Capitol. (06/01/2021) © AP

    Sean Penn at hearing

    Actor Sean Penn was a standout at the public hearing on Thursday. He said he was only there to “observe as a citizen”, CNN reports. “I think we all saw what happened on that particular January 6 and now we’re going to see if justice will be done,” said Penn, 61, who sat next to several police officers.

    During the hearings in Washington, the committee is trying to demonstrate that former President Donald Trump played a major role in his supporters storming the Capitol. He believed that the election results were incorrect and current President Joe Biden had been incorrectly elected as the new president. However, the Republican has never provided any evidence for those claims. Also, all legal protests by Trump’s team of lawyers since the election have all been rejected by various courts.

    According to the current commission of inquiry, Trump even incited his followers to go to the Capitol and then did nothing for hours to solve the chaos that had ensued. Trump is also said to have contributed to a plan to change the election results on January 6.

    Actor Penn is known for years of campaigning for human rights and does not shy away from regularly lashing out at politicians. In February he was still in Ukraine to shoot a documentary in which residents will tell their truth about the Russian invasion.