The Jan. 6 hearings’ missing man: Mike Pence 

Former Vice President Mike Pence has shown no public interest in participating in the select committee’s proceedings, though he’s publicly defended his decision to break from Donald Trump. | Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The Jan. 6 select committee’s hearings are all about one man, and it’s not the one you think. It’s Mike Pence.

Pence’s role in certifying the Electoral College results on Jan. 6, 2021, hours after hundreds of pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol, has only become more of a flashpoint in the investigation of the day’s events and in Republican politics more broadly. 

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), a member of the House panel investigating Jan. 6, has emphasized the significance of Pence refusing to leave the Capitol as rioters were inside the building, suggesting to do so would have given an opening for Trump’s allies to follow through on their plan in Pence’s absence. 

Ultimately, Pence’s refusal to support Trump’s push enraged the former president, who used it to stoke his supporters’ fury even further. Now the only remaining question is whether Pence — who has been boosting his public profile for a potential 2024 bid — will play any direct role in the select panel’s effort to force a national reckoning with Trump’s plot to subvert the election. Democrats say they haven’t ruled out the possibility that he’ll testify.

“We’ve always had the effort to reach out and get the vice president’s participation, so that’s still there,” the Jan. 6 committee’s Chair Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) told reporters, adding: “we’re still engaging [Pence’s lawyers].”

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