As Jan 6 committee considers asking Mike Pence to testify, he says he hasn’t spoken to Donald Trump in months

Former US vice president calls Capitol riot ‘a tragic day in the life of the nation’

Andrew Feinberg
Washington, DC
Friday 28 January 2022 16:14
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Since the House’s January 6 select committee began its ongoing months-long probe into the worst attack on the Capitol since British troops set it ablaze in 1814, former president Donald Trump has been directing many former White House officials to do all they can to defy and delay the investigation.

But the person who might be the committee’s highest-ranking potential witness – former vice president Mike Pence – isn’t one of them.

The ex-vice president, who became a target of the pro-Trump mob that stormed the Capitol after he refused to unilaterally throw out enough swing state electoral votes to install himself and Mr Trump in the White House despite losing the 2020 election, revealed on Thursday that hasn’t spoken with his former boss since a lone conversation last summer.

Mr Pence made the revelation on Thursday during an appearance on the new Fox News programme Jesse Watters Primetime. After host Jesse Waters asked when the last time he spoke with Mr Trump and whether the former president and former vice president were “good,” Mr Pence replied: “You know, we talked last summer”.

Without further prompting, the former vice president turned to the subject of the 6 January Capitol attack, calling the day rioters erected a gallows on the Capitol grounds and called for him to be hanged “a tragic day in the life of the nation”.

Mr Pence, who defied Mr Trump’s wish for him to hijack the quadrennial counting of electoral votes to give them another unearned term in office, said he knew he “did [his] duty under the Constitution of the United States” by allowing the votes to be counted.

He added that he and Mr Trump had “talked through” their disagreement in the days after the riot and “parted amicably” before their term in office expired.

The former vice president, who is currently mulling over whether to mount his own run for the White House in 2024, has not yet been asked to testify before the House select committee, but many of his former top aides, including his former chief of staff Marc Short, ex-national security adviser Gen Keith Kellogg, and former White House communications director Alyssa Farah Griffin have met with the committee in recent weeks.

Earlier this month the select committee’s chairman, Mississippi Representative Bennie Thompson, told National Public Radio that the committee could ask Mr Pence to give evidence before the panel on a voluntary basis “before the month’s out”.

Mr Thompson also told CNN he hoped Mr Pence would do the right thing and come forward and voluntarily talk to the committee” and said he would “gladly accept” were he to make an offer to do so.

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