January 6 Panel Announces Biggest Move Yet: Mike Pence to Be Tapped
As the House panel investigating the Capitol incursion forages for facts that it can use for possible criminal referrals against members of the Trump administration, two new names have appeared on the list of those the panel wants to interrogate.
Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, who chairs the Democratic-dominated panel hand-picked by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, said the committee is planning to ask former Vice President Mike Pence to appear voluntarily, according to NPR.
Ivanka Trump, the daughter of former President Donald Trump and a White House adviser during the Trump administration, is also being considered as a possible target for the panel, Thompson said.
Pence said an invitation for Pence to appear is likely this month.
“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 said. “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.”
Trump had wanted Pence to support his contention that the certification of Electoral College results being conducted that day could be blocked and act to do so. Pence, saying he knew of no legal precedent for such an act, refused.
Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California said he hopes Pence will testify, according to CNN.
“Mike Pence knows things that only Mike Pence knows and it would be very important to completely fill out our work and I think this is one more public service that needs to be performed by the former Vice President,” he said, he said.
Pence has not yet said publicly whether he will appear before the committee.
Ivanka Trump’s appearance is also on the committee’s radar, Thompson said.
“Look, 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.”
Thompson said committee members have been told Ivanka Trump wanted her father to issue a call for those who had breached the Capitol to stand down.
“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,” Thompson said.
Thompson said the panel will know more about Ivanka Trump’s role if it succeeds in its effort to secure White House documents that the former president is fighting to keep hidden.
“So we think once we have access to that, it will help clear up all the drips and drabbles of the information that we are getting,” Thompson said.
Thompson insisted that the incursion could have created a crisis.
“Because one of the dangers, as you know, is if the insurrectionists had been successful and gotten their hands on the ballots from the different states and destroyed [them],” Thompson said, “we would have had a constitutional crisis of no end.”
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