Would-be 2024 presidential candidate Mike Pence says he would consider testifying before the partisan January 6 investigatory committee, but he would have to think it over carefully because of the constitutional implications.
His response came during a Q&A in the early primary state of New Hampshire at Saint Anselm College’s “Politics and Eggs” breakfast, which is a landing spot for ambitious politicians.
The subject came up when moderator James Brett asked Donald Trump’s vice president, “January 6, if they were to call you to come and testify, talk, would you be agreeable?”
“If there was an invitation to participate, I would consider it. But you’ve heard me mention the Constitution a few times this morning,” said the former congressman and Indiana governor.
“In 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 that 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,” Pence continued.
“But as I said, I don’t want to prejudge. If there’s ever any formal invitation rendered to us, we’d give it due consideration. But my first obligation is to continue to uphold my oath. Continue to uphold the framework of government enshrined in the Constitution that has created the greatest nation in the history of the world. We’ll do that.”
According to Axios, “A number of aides close to Pence have testified before the committee, but members of the panel have not asked the former vice president to testify himself.”
Marc Short, Pence’s former chief of staff, has allegedly testified at a grand jury investigating the January 6 protests, although he has warned about the precedent being set if the former vice president testified.
“Do you want a precedent where all of a sudden you’re allowed to bring former vice presidents to talk about what they were doing when they were vice president into Congress to talk about their conversations with the president of the United States? I think it’s a very risky precedent,” Short said, according to Axios.
Some bad blood exists between Trump and Pence over whether the latter had the constitutional authority to block the Electoral College certification of Joe Biden’s win on January 6, 2021. President Trump is also not a fan of the panel that he derisively calls the Unselect Committee that only includes two compliant Never Trump Republicans hand-picked by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
In an interview in March, the former president said that “Mike and I had a great relationship except for the very important factor that took place at the end. We had a very good relationship. I haven’t spoken to him in a long time.”
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) March 17, 2022
“Mike thought he was going to be a human conveyor belt, that no matter how fraudulent the votes, you have to send them up to the Old Crow,” Trump said, referring to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Last summer, Pence said that “You know, President Trump and I have spoken many times since we left office. And I don’t know if we’ll ever see eye to eye on that day.”
Pence also asserted that “I will not allow Democrats or their allies in the media to use one tragic day to discredit the aspirations of millions of Americans. Or allow Democrats or their allies in the media to distract our attention from a new administration intent on dividing our country to advance their radical agenda.”
At the New Hampshire event, Pence seemed to conflate — in the aftermath of the FBI Mar-a-Lago raid — criticism of the top-echelon of the FBI with disapproval of rank-and-file agents. He called upon Attorney General Merrick Garland to be more forthcoming with information, however. “This unprecedented action does demand unprecedented transparency.
In something along the lines of a political proxy disagreement, Trump and Pence have gone in different directions in candidate endorsements, which the latter inclined toward more establishment candidates.
Trump backed America First star Kari Lake in Arizona’s gubernatorial primary, for example. Pence endorsed RINO Karrin Taylor Robson, who lost to Lake. He endorsed incumbent Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp over Trump candidate David Perdue. Kemp won easily in that matchup and is favored to prevail in the general election over Democrat Stacey Abrams.
Pence also endorsed former Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch for the top job; Trump-backed Tim Michels won the GOP primary.
Pence is scheduled for some events this week in Iowa, another early presidential primary/caucus state.
Earlier this year, U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney — the J6 committee vice chair who lost her Wyoming primary on Tuesday in a landslide to Trump-endorsed Harriet Hageman — described Mike Pence as “a hero on January 6. He refused the pressure of the former president. He did his duty, and the nation should be very grateful for the actions that he took that day.”
Cheney is supposedly considering her own most-assuredly doomed bid for the presidency in 2024 either as a Republican or an independent.
8 out of 10 House Republicans, who voted to impeach President Trump, won’t return to Congress:
❌ Peter Meijer
❌ Jaime Herrera Beutler
❌ Liz Cheney
✅ David Valadao
✅ Dan Newhouse pic.twitter.com/60Koo9hJ4e
— InteractivePolls (@IAPolls2022) August 17, 2022
The U.S. Senate website indicates that in the history of the country, only one sitting vice president, Schuyler Colfax, has testified before a congressional committee (on January 7, 1873), plus seven presidents or former presidents, six of whom only appeared on one occasion.
The website does not contain a list any ex-VPs who have provided testimony at a committee hearing on Capitol Hill.
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