Former Vice President Mike Pence said Wednesday he’d “consider” testifying prior to the House Jan. 6 committee and that attacks contrary to the FBI “must stop” in the aftermath of the search warrant at former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence.
Why it matters: Pence’s remarks come as he could be ramping up travel before a likely 2024 presidential bid and amid an uptick in threats to federal police following the search.
- Trump earlier this week needed the “temperature … to be brought down” following the search, but additionally reiterated his attacks on the FBI, saying that Americans are “not likely to are a symbol of another scam.”
Driving the news headlines: “We are able to contain the attorney general in charge of your choice he made without attacking the rank-and-file police personnel at the FBI,” Pence said at a meeting at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire.
- “The Republican Party may be the party of law and order,” he continued.
- “Our party stands with the women and men who stand on the thin blue line at the federal and state and local level, and these attacks on the FBI must stop. Calls to defund the FBI are simply as wrong as calls to defund the authorities.”
- Pence also said he’d urge Attorney General Merrick Garland to release more information linked to the search. “This unprecedented action does demand unprecedented transparency,” he said.
State of play: Pence also indicated Wednesday he would “consider” testifying prior to the Jan. 6 select committee, “if there is an invitation to participate,” but added that it might be “unprecedented.”
- “You’ve heard me mention the Constitution several times today. [Through] the Constitution, we’ve three co-equal branches of government and any invitation that might be directed if you ask me, I would need to think about that,” he said.
- “It will be unprecedented ever sold for a vice president to be summoned to testify on Capitol Hill … But when i said, I don’t desire to prejudge. If any formal invitation [is] rendered to us, we’d give it due consideration.”
Between your lines: Several aides near Pence have testified prior to the committee, but members of the panel haven’t asked the former vice president to testify himself.
- Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), 1 of 2 Republicans serving on the Jan. 6 select committee, said in-may he would “love” to see Pence appear, adding he hoped Pence “would achieve this voluntarily.
- Pence’s remarks on Wednesday stand in stark contrast to Trump’s, who has repeatedly slammed the committee’s work.
Yes, but: Last month, Marc Short, Pence’s former chief of staff, said that Pence testifying could set a “very risky precedent.”
- “Would you like a precedent where suddenly you’re permitted to bring former vice presidents to speak about what these were doing if they were vice president into Congress to speak about their conversations with the president of america?” Short said. “I believe it is a very risky precedent.”