Mike Pence says he will consider testifying before the January 6 committee if called

Pence made the remarks during a question-and-answer session after a speech at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics’ “Politics & Eggs” breakfast.

“If there is an invitation to participate, I will consider it,” Pence said, after calling January 6 a sad day for all Americans. “But you heard me refer to the Constitution a few times this morning. Under the Constitution, we have three co-equal branches of government, and any invitation to me should reflect the unique role I’ve served. As vice president, it’s unprecedented in history for a vice president to be called to testify on Capitol Hill. .But, like I said, if we ever get a proper call, I don’t want to prejudge. , we’ll give it due consideration.”

They include President Gerald Ford, who voluntarily testified before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Criminal Justice in 1974 to explain why he pardoned his predecessor, Richard Nixon.

Serious constitutional issues

A person familiar with Pence’s thinking cautioned against reading too much into his comments on Wednesday.

Citing Pence’s comments about the coexistence of the branches of government, the source noted that the former vice president would face serious constitutional issues when appearing before the committee on Jan. 6.

Pence believes most of the information related to his experience was given to the committee on Jan. 6 because his former chief of staff, Mark Short, and Pence’s attorney, Greg Jacobs, have already given full testimony, the source said.

January 6 The committee did not comment.

The selection committee explained At a public hearing in June How ex President Donald Trump He tried to pressure his vice president, Pence, to join a plan to subvert the 2020 presidential election — but Pence’s refusal put his life at risk as rioters called for his execution on January 6, 2021.

Two witnesses testified during the June 16 hearing that Pence did not have the authority to disrupt the election: Jacobs and retired Republican judge J. Michael Luttig.

The committee ran how conservative Trump lawyer John Eastman advanced a legal theory that Pence could unilaterally block the certification of the election — a point rejected outright by Trump’s White House lawyers and Pence’s team, but accepted by the former president.

In a June 16 video recording, Short said the vice president advised Trump “several times” when he chaired a joint session of Congress on January 6 that he did not have the legal or constitutional authority to reverse the decisions. Count the electoral votes.

A call for unprecedented transparency

On Wednesday, Pence again urged U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to provide the American people with a full accounting of the latest cases. Look for Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Resort Necessary, citing the politicization of the FBI during the Trump administration.

“This unprecedented action demands unprecedented transparency,” Pence said, while defending rank-and-file agents. “I want to remind my fellow Republicans that the AG can be held accountable for his decision without attacking law enforcement personnel at the FBI. The Republican Party is the party for law and order. Our party stands with the men who serve in the thin blue line at the federal and state and local levels. These attacks on women and the FBI must stop. Calls to pay the FBI are just as wrong as calls to pay the police.”

Pence is signaling a 2024 bid as he meets with lawmakers and delivers a South Carolina speech

Pence spoke before a packed room, with about a dozen people lining the walls. As he has done in recent speeches, he argued that elections are about the future, not the past, and that the GOP must present a positive vision for the future to win.

It was the latest of many trips that Pence has made States with early presidential nominating contests; New Hampshire is holding the nation’s first presidential primary, a key contest in the race for the White House. After the speech, he was set to spend the day campaigning with candidates for state Senate and participate in roundtables with business leaders and law enforcement officials before delivering the keynote speech at a tri-county GOP event.

This story has been updated.

CNN’s Gloria Borger, Dana Bash, Annie Grayer and Rachel Janfaza contributed to this report.

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