The House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol are hoping Mike Pence will voluntarily speak to them later this month.
Committee Chair Bennie Thompson said the panel is aiming to speak to the former vice president by the end of January, as it continues its inquiry into the events surrounding last year’s attack.
Asked about the possibility of interviewing Pence, Thompson told NPR on Friday: “I think you could expect that before the month’s out.”
The Mississippi Democrat said Pence’s cooperation with the investigation could be crucial given that Trump falsely told his supporters the then-vice president could have stopped the certification of the 2020 presidential election results in favor of Joe Biden via the Veep’s ceremonial role as presiding officer of the Senate.
“The vice president was put in a tough spot. The president was putting a lot of pressure on him to break the law, and he stood fast,” Thompson told NPR.
“And because of his respect for law, there were people who came to the Capitol a year ago wanting to hang him. And so, if for no other reason, our committee really needs to hear what are his opinions about what happened on Jan. 6.”
As the attack was taking place last January 6, Trump tweeted that Pence “didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done” with regards to stopping the election being certified.
During the attack, the violent mob of Trump supporters could be heard chanting “hang Mike Pence” in the corridors of the Capitol building.
Thompson said the panel will meet next week to discuss the plans to formally ask Pence to speak to them.
He added that the committee has not ruled on seeking more of Trump’s inner circle to appear as witnesses, including his daughter, Ivanka Trump.
Rep. Liz Cheney, the vice chairwoman of the House select committee, previously told NBC that she is “looking forward” to Pence co-operating with the inquiry into the insurrection while describing the former vice president as a “hero” on the day of the attack.
“He refused the pressure of the former President,” Cheney said on the attack’s one-year anniversary. “He did his duty, and the nation should be very grateful for the actions that he took that day.”
Cheney previously revealed that the panel had received “first-hand testimony” that Ivanka Trump asked her father at least twice to “please stop this violence” as he watched it unfold on television in the White House dining room, rather than attempt to get his supporters to end the riot.
“We are absolutely open to anyone coming voluntarily to the committee,” Thompson said. “If in fact we think somebody has information that as a committee we need, and getting a subpoena for that person’s participation is important, then we will do it.”
“We have information that Ivanka did try to get the president to call off what was occurring at the Capitol. We don’t have all the information. That’s why we would love to have access to it.”
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