Former VP Mike Pence and his lawyers have been informally discussing whether he will be willing to provide testimony to the Select Committee since its formation last summer. But Pence is contemplating the political fallout for a potential campaign for President in 2024.
In recent weeks, Mr. Pence is said by people familiar with his thinking to have grown increasingly disillusioned with the idea of voluntary cooperation. He has told aides that the committee has taken a sharp partisan turn by openly considering the potential for criminal referrals to the Justice Department about Mr. Trump and others. Such referrals, in Mr. Pence’s view, appear designed to hurt Republican chances of winning control of Congress in November.
Pence is also upset that the committee is publicly saying that they have received more communication with former aides than what he considers they actually have. Pence seems mad that the committee is trying to pit him against Trump.
- Media reports and statements from committee members imply that Pence’s team has provided significant cooperation.
- But one of the most important Pence team members, former Chief of Staff Marc Short, has criticized the committee as impartial since Democrats rejected McCarthy’s members as offerings to the committee.
- Short was subpoenaed but has yet to commit his cooperation.
Pence’s testimony under oath would be vital to the committee’s decision regarding a criminal referral of Trump to the Department of Justice.
The potential charge floated by some members of the committee is violation of the federal law that prohibits obstructing an official proceeding before Congress.
The committee holds little legal weight but could add pressure to the DOJ to indict, while the DOJ has not indicated outright that they are building a legal case against Trump.
However, federal prosecutors have recently begun asking defense attorneys of the rioters whether they would be willing to admit in sworn statements that they stormed the Capitol because Trump wanted them to stop Pence from certifying the election.
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