Former Vice President Mike Pence said Wednesday he would give “due consideration” to any formal invitation to testify before the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol, while hinting at potential executive privilege issues.
Pence made the remarks during a Q&A after a speech at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics’ “Politics & Eggs” breakfast, a common stop for candidates considering a run for office.
“If there was an invitation to participate, I would consider it,” Pence said, after calling January 6 a tragic day for all Americans. “But, you heard me mention the Constitution a few times this morning. Under the Constitution, we have three co-equal branches of government, and any invitation to be directed to me, I would have to reflect on the unique role I was serving in as vice president. It would be unprecedented in history for a vice president to be summoned to testify on Capitol Hill. But, as I said, I don’t want to pre-judge, so if there’s ever any formal invitation rendered to us, we would give it due consideration.”
While Pence said it would be “unprecedented” for a vice president to be asked to testify on Capitol Hill, presidents and vice presidents have testified before Congress in the past.
They include President Gerald Ford, who testified voluntarily in front of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Criminal Justice in 1974 to explain why he pardoned his predecessor Richard Nixon.
The January 6 committee detailed at a public hearing in June how former President Donald Trump tried to pressure Pence, his vice president, to join in his scheme to overturn the 2020 presidential election – and how Pence’s refusal put his life in danger as rioters called for his hanging on January 6, 2021.
Two witnesses who advised Pence that he did not have the authority to subvert the election testified during the June 16 hearing: former Pence attorney Greg Jacob and retired Republican judge J. Michael Luttig.
The committee walked through how conservative Trump attorney John Eastman put forward a legal theory that Pence could unilaterally block certification of the election – a theory that was roundly rejected by Trump’s White House attorneys and Pence’s team but nevertheless was embraced by the former President.... (Read more)
Submitted 38 days ago