Pence Seems To Backtrack On Willingness To Testify Before ‘Partisan’ Jan. 6 Committee

Former Vice President Mike Pence played a central role in the election dispute that led to last year’s riot on Capitol Hill. As a result, the House committee investigating that incident has been eager to hear from him directly and under oath.

While Pence suggested earlier this year that he would seriously consider any invitation to testify, he appeared to walk back those remarks during a more recent interview.

Speaking to the Washington Times over the weekend, he accused the panel of “operating on a very partisan bias” and expressed serious doubts about whether he should agree to testify if he is asked.

“If the committee wanted to extend a formal invitation, I would consider it,” he said. “But we would reflect very carefully on my obligations to preserve the separation of powers and the constitutional framework that I served in.”

While that response was basically a restatement of his comments during an earlier event in New Hampshire, Pence went on to offer a more cynical take on the House panel, which includes just two Republicans, both of whom have been fierce critics of former President Donald Trump.

“I have real concerns about the partisan nature of the Jan. 6 committee,” Pence added. “By essentially rendering this as a partisan committee that’s operating on a very partisan basis — and at times leaking information and leaking testimony — I think in many respects it has squandered an opportunity to really thoughtfully examine what took place that day and where the failings were.”

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), one of the committee’s seven Democratic members, recently encouraged Pence to testify, asserting that he could do so while addressing any concerns about executive privilege.

“There is, of course, nothing precluding the vice president, should he decide to, to come before Congress,” Schiff explained. “And I would hope, given the severity of the issues we’re addressing here, an attack on our Capitol, an attack on our very democracy, that he would be willing to come in.”

The committee’s ranking Republican, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), confirmed that her team had been in communication with Pence’s attorneys in an effort to reach an arrangement by which Pence would feel comfortable testifying.