The House committee that has been investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol will begin to present its findings on Thursday night in a televised public hearing, and former Vice President Mike Pence is expected to be a focal point of the hearing.
Pence will not be at the hearing on Thursday in-person, and has not directly cooperated with the committee, according to The Hill. Although, some of his former aides have cooperated and provided details of Pence's actions leading up to and on the day of the insurrection.
"Pence's chief of staff, Marc Short, and counsel, Greg Jacob, were among more than 1,000 witnesses, including more than a dozen from the White House, who met with the committee," according to USA Today.
Under the Constitution, the vice president serves as the president of the Senate, and therefore is responsible for certifying the Electoral College results.
Pence did not interfere with the count to certify Joe Biden as President of the United States, despite pressure from then-President Donald Trump and others to delay the certification.
While Trump continued to claim that the election was rigged and stolen from him, thousands of his supporters stormed the Capitol. There were even "Hang Mike Pence" chants directed at the then-Vice President for not listening to Trump's demands.
According to The New York Times, Short had Pence's top Secret Service agent escort him to his office in The White House and warned of a "security risk" to Pence on the day before the riots.
"The chief of staff, Marc Short, had a message for the agent, Tim Giebels: The president was going to turn publicly against the vice president, and there could be a security risk to Mr. Pence because of it," The New York Times wrote.
Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows was with Trump on Jan. 6, 2021, and has since cooperated with the House committee's investigation. He reportedly confirmed that Trump "reacted approvingly" of the chants directed at Pence, showing the disconnect between the two at the time.
"Mr. Meadows, according to an account provided to the House committee investigating Jan. 6, then told the colleagues that Mr. Trump had said something to the effect of, maybe Mr. Pence should be hanged," according to The New York Times.
"Another witness, Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to Mr. Meadows who was present in his office when he recounted Mr. Trump’s remarks, was asked by the committee about the account and confirmed it, according to the people familiar with the panel’s work," The New York Times added.
Since the Jan. 6, 2021 attacks, Pence has distanced himself from Trump and the belief that the 2020 election was rigged. In February 2022, Pence spoke to the conservative Federalist Society and clearly stated that he could not have overturned the election in Trump's favor, despite the former-President claiming that it was possible.
"Our Founders were deeply suspicious of consolidated power in the nation’s capital and were rightly concerned with foreign interference if presidential elections were decided in the capital," Pence said, according to POLITICO.
"But there are those in our party who believe that as the presiding officer over the joint session of Congress, I possessed unilateral authority to reject electoral college votes. And I heard this week, President Trump said I had the right to ‘overturn the election’. President Trump is wrong…I had no right to overturn the election."
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), a member of the Jan. 6 House committee, was asked on Monday during a Washington Post Live event about the hearings in relation to Pence.
"We want to figure out exactly what happened. And Vice President Pence was obviously the object of this political onslaught on Jan. 6, so we need to fill in the details as much as possible about what happened there," Raskin said, per The Hill.
Raskin was also asked if Pence's life was in danger, and added that "the hearings will tell a story about what took place" on Jan. 6, 2021.
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