Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s hand-selected House committee investigating the January 6 Capitol building riot has asked former Vice President Mike Pence to appear to testify voluntarily. Committee Chair Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) said that the committee would like to hear Pence’s “opinions” of the events of that day.
Thompson told NPR that Pence might testify “before the month’s out,” adding that he thinks Pence was in a “tough spot” when trying to restore order in the Capitol on January 6. He said that he believes that President Donald Trump was pressuring Pence to “break the law, and he stood fast.”
Thompson defended Pence’s “respect for the law,” which he said had people coming to the Capitol “wanting to hang him.”
The chairman said that the full committee would be meeting in the coming week to formalize the request to have Pence appear voluntarily. He said that if the committee needed to issue subpoenas for any persons with important information, they would do so.
In addition to Pence, the committee has recently expressed interest in asking for voluntary appearances from Sean Hannity from Fox News and Reps. Scott Perry (R-PA) and Jim Jordan (R-OH). So far, none of them have expressed an interest in appearing without being ordered to do so.
Thompson added that the committee is working on “significant recommendations” to the full House for new legislation amending the Electoral Count Act to create additional penalties for obstructing official proceedings, including the Congressional certification of electoral college voting results.
He speculated that if the “insurrectionists” had “gotten their hands on the ballots,” the country would have experienced a constitutional crisis “of no end.” He appears to have implied that one or more of the “insurrectionists” were attempting to steal the box containing electoral college votes.
The January 6 committee is expected to release an “interim report” sometime this summer. There is no doubt the committee’s actions will be set up to maximize their expected impact on this year’s midterm congressional elections.