Jan. 6 committee to ask Mike Pence for voluntary appearance, chairman says

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The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol will request the presence of former Vice President Mike Pence to get “his opinions” about what transpired that day.

Committee chair Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., announced the group’s decision to ask Pence to appear before them during an interview with NPR.

Committee chair Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., speaks as Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., and Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., listen during a committee meeting on Capitol Hill on Dec. 1, 2021 in Washington, D.C.

Committee chair Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., speaks as Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., and Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., listen during a committee meeting on Capitol Hill on Dec. 1, 2021 in Washington, D.C.
(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

WHAT THE JAN. 6 HOUSE COMMITTEE HAS BEEN UP TO: BY THE NUMBERS

“I think you could expect that before the month’s out,” Thompson said, expressing that he believes Pence played a significant role in restoring order on that day as he was “put in a tough spot.”

“The vice president was put in a tough spot,” Thompson told NPR. “The president was putting a lot of pressure on him to break the law, and he stood fast.”

Thompson said because of Pence’s “respect for law,” there were “people who came to the Capitol a year ago wanting to hang him.”

Former Vice President Mike Pence gives remarks to a small crowd on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021 at Columbus Municipal Airport in Columbus, Ind.

Former Vice President Mike Pence gives remarks to a small crowd on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021 at Columbus Municipal Airport in Columbus, Ind.

“And so, if for no other reason, our committee really needs to hear what are his opinions about what happened on Jan. 6,” Thompson added.

Thompson said the committee will meet next week to finalize plans on requesting Pence to appear.

In addition, Thompson made it clear that the committee will issue for subpoenas for people “if in fact we think somebody has information that as a committee we need.” He said if “getting a subpoena for that person’s participation is important, then we will do it.”

Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., joined by fellow committee members, speak to the media following a hearing of the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., joined by fellow committee members, speak to the media following a hearing of the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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The chairman went on to tell NPR that the committee is working to issue “significant recommendations” for new legislation regarding “reforms to the Electoral Count Act or new penalties for obstructing an official proceeding, such as the certification of presidential election results.”

Thompson said if the “insurrectionists had been successful and gotten their hands on the ballots from the different states and destroyed” them, then America would have witnessed “a constitutional crisis of no end.”

Last month, the committee said it would release an interim report on its findings by the summer of this year.


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