Former Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday shut down any expectation that he would testify in person before the House Jan. 6 committee.
Appearing on CBS’ “Face The Nation,” Mr. Pence was candid about Republicans seeking other options when talking about his former boss, former President Donald Trump, who last week launched his third White House bid. But Mr. Pence has no plans to discuss the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol before the committee.
His former chief of staff, Marc Short, and legal counsel Greg Jacobs previously spoke to the committee, but the committee’s future is in doubt as four of the eight members will not return in the next Congress, which will be led by a Republican majority.
“I served for 12 years in the Congress. It’s inconceivable to me that one party would appoint every member of a committee in Congress. That’s antithetical to the whole idea of the committee system,” Mr. Pence said of the Jan. 6 committee that was appointed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“That being said, I never stood in the way of senior members of my team cooperating with the committee and testifying. But Congress has no right to my testimony. We have a separation of powers under the Constitution of the United States,” Mr. Pence said. “And I believe it would establish a terrible precedent for the Congress to summon a vice president of the United States to speak about deliberations that took place at the White House.”
Mr. Pence, who served as House GOP conference chairman under former Speaker John Boehner, said he was “closing the door” on testifying before the Jan. 6 committee, which he described as a “disappointment.”
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“It seemed to me in the beginning, there was an opportunity to examine every aspect of what happened on January 6, and to do so more in the spirit of the 9/11 Commission, nonpartisan, non-political, and that was an opportunity lost,” he said.
A swarm of pro-Trump protesters who breached the Capitol that day came close to Mr. Pence, who had not been evacuated from the Senate chamber for almost 14 minutes after U.S. Capitol Police reported an initial attempted to break into the complex.
The Secret Service led Mr. Pence, his wife and their daughter off the floor as the rioters breached the Capitol. Some rioters were heard yelling, “Hang Mike Pence.”