Pence says he’d “take into account” showing earlier than Jan. 6 committee if requested

Washington — Former Vice President Mike Pence stated Wednesday he would “take into account” showing earlier than the Home choose committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol if the panel summoned him to reply questions.

“If there was an invite to take part, I might take into account it,” Pence stated through the Politics & Eggs occasion held at St. Anselm Faculty in Manchester, New Hampshire.

However the former vice chairman famous if he had been invited to testify earlier than Home investigators, he must “mirror on the distinctive position that I used to be serving in as vice chairman.”

“It would be unprecedented in historical past for a vice chairman to be summoned to testify on Capitol Hill, however as I stated, I do not wish to pre-judge,” he continued. “If there have been ever any formal invitation rendered to us, we would give it due consideration, however my first obligation is to proceed to uphold my oath, proceed to uphold the framework of presidency enshrined within the Structure.”

There have, nonetheless, been each sitting presidents and vice presidents to testify before Congress, together with Presidents Abraham Lincoln in 1862, Woodrow Wilson in 1919, and Gerald Ford in 1974. Vice President Schuyler Colfax additionally appeared voluntarily earlier than a Home choose committee in 1873 about his inventory possession within the firm concerned in constructing the federally backed Union Pacific Railroad.

A choose committee spokesman declined to touch upon Pence’s remarks.

The committee probing the Jan. 6 assault has heard from quite a few aides near Pence, together with his former chief of employees Marc Brief and chief counsel Greg Jacob, who testified publicly through the panel’s third listening to of the summer season in regards to the strain marketing campaign waged on Pence to unilaterally reject Electoral Faculty votes from key states former President Donald Trump misplaced.

However members of the committee haven’t requested Pence himself to seem earlier than them. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a Republican from Illinois who sits on the panel, told “Face the Nation” in Could that he would “love” for Pence to voluntarily testify earlier than the committee, and in July said lawmakers had been nonetheless debating whether or not to request his testimony.

Pence, in the meantime, stated Wednesday that Jan. 6 was a “tragic day within the historical past of our nation” and he was “angered” to see the Capitol “ransacked.” He criticized Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi for rejecting a number of the GOP lawmakers proposed by Home Minority Chief Kevin McCarthy to take a seat on the choose committee and known as it a “missed alternative” for the American folks.

Former Vice President Mike Pence Speaks At Politics & Eggs Event In New Hampshire
Former Vice President Mike Pence speaks at a Politics & Eggs occasion on the New Hampshire Institute Politics at St. Anselm Faculty on Aug. 17, 2022, in Manchester, New Hampshire. Scott Eisen / Getty Photographs

The panel held a collection of eight public hearings all through the summer season mapping out a multi-pronged effort by Trump to thwart the switch of energy after he misplaced the 2020 presidential election to President Biden.

The committee is predicted to situation an preliminary report of its findings within the fall and maintain further hearings, as its members proceed to conduct closed-door interviews.

On the crux of Trump’s effort to strain Pence was a principle pushed by conservative lawyer John Eastman that the vice chairman may single-handedly toss out electoral votes or ship slates of electors again to the state legislatures to get replaced through the Jan. 6 joint session of Congress, which Pence presided over.

However the then-vice president declined to associate with Trump and Eastman’s technique, and he and his high aides repeatedly informed the previous president and his allies the speculation had no foundation within the Structure or federal legislation, the committee confirmed throughout its mid-June listening to.

Pence’s rejection of Trump’s plan led to what was described as a “pretty heated” call the morning of Jan. 6 between the previous president and his vice chairman. White Home aides informed committee investigators that Trump known as Pence a “wimp” and “the ‘p’ phrase.”

The previous president additionally despatched a tweet the afternoon of Jan. 6 criticizing Pence for not rejecting state electors, which incited anger among the many mob of Trump’s supporters who descended upon the Capitol. 

A few of the rioters chanted “hold Mike Pence,” and the then-vice president was in the end evacuated from the Senate after they breached the Capitol. The committee stated Pence got here inside 40 ft of the mob, although he refused Secret Service instructions to get in a automotive to go away the Capitol. As a substitute, he was saved in a safe location inside the Capitol advanced for greater than 4 hours till the constructing was cleared and the joint session reconvened to affirm Mr. Biden’s victory.

Through the occasion in New Hampshire, Pence additionally spoke in regards to the search carried out final week by the FBI of Trump’s South Florida residence, Mar-a-Lago. The search warrant and record of things taken from the property, which was unsealed Friday, present the FBI is investigating Trump for doable violations of three federal statutes. Federal legislation enforcement took through the search 11 units of labeled paperwork, together with containers containing data marked “secret,” “high secret,” “confidential” and “labeled/TS/SCI,” or high secret/delicate compartmented info.

Pence stated he was “deeply troubled” to be taught the search warrant was executed on the private residence of a former president and reiterated his name to Lawyer Basic Merrick Garland to clarify why the search was crucial.

“By no means earlier than in American historical past has the non-public residence of a former president been topic to a search warrant, and within the wake of the 4 years that we endured the politicization of the FBI, the American folks have a proper to know the premise for this,” he stated. “This unprecedented motion does demand unprecedented transparency.”

Pence additionally delivered a message to Republicans who’re attacking the FBI for the search at Mar-a-Lago, as federal authorities warned of an “improve in violent threats” in opposition to legislation enforcement officers and amenities.

“These assaults on the FBI should cease. Calls to defund the FBI are simply as improper as calls to defund the police,” the previous vice chairman stated. “The reality of the matter is we have to unravel what occurred, we have to let the details play out, however greater than anything, the American folks must be reassured within the integrity of our justice system and the very look of a recurrence of politics enjoying a job in selections on the Justice Division calls for transparency as by no means earlier than.”

Rebecca Kaplan contributed to this report.

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