Politics

Pence: ‘I would consider’ testifying before January 6 committee

In fact, the former vice president, who is generally reluctant to talk about his experience on January 6, 2021 – when rioters stormed the US Capitol to disrupt the electoral vote count and chanted “hang up Mike Pence” – seemed uncharacteristically open to talking about it down the line, possibly in the brief he referred to, which is expected to be released just after the November midterm elections.

“The American people have a right to know what happened,” Pence said. “And in the months and years to come, I will tell my story even more often.”

The Jan. 6 panel weighed whether to formally request Pence’s testimony for months, with members sometimes suggesting they would like to bring in the former vice president to hear his version of events.

There is one piece of evidence that only Pence may be able to provide: his responses to Trump during their last phone call on January 6, 2021, when Trump apparently berated Pence for refusing to support his plan to block the certification of Joe Biden’s victory. at the joint session of Congress that day.

But the committee has indicated at other times that it may not need to hear directly from Pence, whose closest advisers testified at length and provided the panel with some of his most important revelations. The panel declined to comment Wednesday morning.

Two of Pence’s top aides, Marc Short and Greg Jacob, recently testified before a Washington, DC grand jury investigating efforts by Trump and his administration to disrupt the transfer of power. Their testimony before the select committee helped form the basis of a federal judge’s assessment that Trump likely committed multiple Jan. 6-related crimes.

Trump weighed in heavily on Pence’s return to New Hampshire and Politics & Eggs, an almost obligatory stop for those with presidential ambitions visiting the nation’s first primary state.

Pence downplayed mentions of Trump in his speech, listing the accomplishments of the “Trump-Pence administration” before urging people to refocus on midterms “because elections are about the future.”

“We need to do more than criticize and complain,” Pence said. “We must unite our movement around a bold and optimistic agenda that will bring real solutions to the American people.”

Pence’s only formal acknowledgment of the now chilly relationship between him and his former boss – “it’s pretty well known that President Trump and I have had our differences” – was laughed off by a crowd filled with big New Hampshire Republicans, including Fred Doucette, who chaired Trump’s New Hampshire campaigns in 2016 and 2020.

In his remarks Wednesday, Pence seemed keen to carve out a separate electoral path from Trump without disparaging the former president, who remains hugely popular and influential within the Republican Party.

“From Ronald Reagan to Donald Trump, there’s no doubt that we’ve had our share of big names in this party, and I expect us to do so again,” Pence said. “But I have to tell you, when I spoke to crowds large and small across this country, it was the ideas that created the roar, it was the commitment to those American values ​​that brought people out. “

The former vice president is one of many high-profile Republicans — Trump included — hinting at a presidential campaign in 2024. Pence did little on Wednesday to dispel rumors that he could mount a candidacy for the White House in 2024.

“I’ve never spent much time in New Hampshire, but I might one day,” he said.

Pence’s message sometimes fell flat among the crowd of New Hampshire and Massachusetts bigwigs who gathered to see the former vice president. He received only a handful of applause when he spoke of being a “small part of an administration” that appointed three conservative justices to the Supreme Court that sent “Roe v. Wade to the heap of ashes of history where he belongs”. Abortion rights are popular among voters in both states.

But it remains a draw for New Hampshire Republicans eager to help their party gain control of the House and Senate this fall and retain power in the State House. Pence had several other stops in New Hampshire on Wednesday, including events with conservative candidates for state legislature.

“He’s one of the best leading Republicans nationally, political Republicans, who can draw really good crowds of people,” New Hampshire Republican National Committee member Chris Ager said in an interview before the Pence’s speech. “People want to hear what he has to say.”

Nicholas Wu contributed to this report.

Politico

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