Mike Pence would give “due consideration” to testify before the House Jan. 6 committee if he were invited, the former vice president said at a Wednesday event.
“If there [were] an invitation to participate, I would consider it,” Pence said at an event at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire on Aug. 17. “But you’ve heard me mention the Constitution a few times this morning. Under the Constitution, we have three co-equal branches of government. Any invitation to be directed to me, I would have to reflect on the unique role I was serving in as vice president.”
Members of the Jan. 6 committee investigating the Capitol breach said in June they were considering whether to compel Pence to testify. However, the committee, which sees former President Donald Trump’s election fraud claim as a root cause of the violence on Jan. 6, 2021, has not publicly extended an invitation to Pence.
Although it would be “unprecedented in history for a vice president to be summoned to testify on Capitol Hill,” Pence told the crowd he didn’t want to jump to conclusions.
“My first obligation is to continue to hold my oath, continue to uphold the framework of government enshrined in the Constitution,” he added.
Aides to Pence told the Jan. 6 panel in a June hearing that Trump pressured the then-vice president to overturn his 2020 election defeat, before and during the Capitol breach. One of Pence’s senior aides testified to the Jan. 6 committee, and his top staffer at the time, Marc Short, testified before a federal grand jury investigating the attack.
Trump’s allies disputed that the then-vice president was legally granted the power, under the text of the 12th Amendment, to hold off the certification of electoral votes—a claim Pence rejected.
Pence ultimately sided last January against Trump and his electoral certification claim, triggering an escalated protest at the Capitol that day. Videos and photos show that Pence and his entourage were evacuated from the Senate chamber to a secure location a few floors down.
Reiterating that the American public deserves to know what happened on Jan. 6, Pence teased on Wednesday that he would share more of his views in an upcoming memoir due out in November, according to The Hill.
He did criticize the make-up of the Democrat-led panel, which consists of nine representatives but only two GOP members, both of whom are outspoken critics of Trump who voted to impeach the former president in January 2021, and were picked by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
Pence’s Wednesday appearance comes as speculation grows about a Pence 2024 presidential bid as he continues to deliver speeches, making high-profile stops in early primary states like New Hampshire, South Carolina, Iowa, and Nevada in recent months.
Reuters contributed to this report.