Representative Bennie Thompson, chairman of the Democratic-led House select committee investigating the Jan.6, 2021 attack on the United States Capitol, said members expect this month to ask the former Vice President Mike Pence to appear voluntarily.
Pence’s role on the day of the siege generated a lot of interest from the committee, as it examines the actions of then-President Donald Trump on that day, as well as in the days leading up to the attack. . Trump had been lobby Pence to step out of his ceremonial role and reject Joe Biden’s election results in several key states.
Thompson, a Democrat from Mississippi, shared the timing of Pence’s claim in an interview with NPR.
“I think you can expect this before the end of the month,” Thompson noted.
He described Pence’s appearance as critical, especially since the former vice president finally posted a letter ahead of the Jan.6 proceedings who said he would not step down from his ceremonial role.
“The vice president was put in a difficult position. The president put a lot of pressure on him to break the law, and he held on,” Thompson added. “And because of his respect for the law, there were people who came to the Capitol a year ago to hang him. And so, if not for any other reason, our committee really needs to. ‘hear what his views are about what happened on January 1. 6. ”
The committee will meet behind closed doors next week and then hope to firm up final plans for Pence and the voluntary request, Thompson said.
Seeking information from Ivanka Trump and others
The effort comes as the committee enters a new phase of its investigation, with further examination of Donald Trump’s inner circle and new public requests for voluntary testimony. In recent weeks, the committee has asked that the Fox News personality Sean hannity and Republican representatives. Scott perry from Pennsylvania and Jim jordan from Ohio appear before the panel.
None have expressed an interest in doing so.
Thompson did not rule out other requests from other witnesses in Trump’s inner circle, including his daughter and former White House senior adviser Ivanka Trump.
“Look, we’re absolutely open to anyone who comes to the committee voluntarily,” Thompson said. “If in fact we believe that someone has information that we need as a committee, and that it is important to get a subpoena for that person to participate, then we will.”
The committee obtained information that Ivanka Trump attempted to get her father to call off the riot on several occasions that day, Thompson and other members said.
“We have information that Ivanka tried to get the president to cancel what was going on on Capitol Hill. We don’t have all the information. That’s why we would like to have access to it,” said Thompson.
Thompson said more details of Ivanka Trump’s requests to her father regarding the attack are likely contained in White House documents which are the subject of an ongoing legal battle. Donald Trump has lost several rounds in federal courts seeking to block the committee’s access to some of these documents and is now asking the Supreme Court to intervene.
“So we think once we have access to that, it will help remove all the drops and drops of information that we get,” Thompson said.
The committee published over 50 subpoenas, interviewed around 350 witnesses, received over 45,000 documents and sued nearly 350 tips.
The committee is also assessing whether Donald Trump or others should be considered for criminal referrals for their siege-related actions. So far, the House has approved the committee’s two criminal referrals for the former White House chief of staff Marc des meadows and former strategist Steve bannon.
Thompson said the committee was also working to make “important recommendations” for new legislation. This could include reforms to the electoral count law or new sanctions for obstructing a formal process, such as certification of presidential election results.
“Because one of the dangers, as you know, is that the insurgents will succeed and get their hands on the ballots from different states and destroy [them]”said Thompson,” we would have had a never-ending constitutional crisis.
The panel is in a race to wrap up its investigation ahead of this year’s November midterm election, as Republicans could regain control of the lower house next year and end the investigation.
Hearings to present those findings could take place by the spring or summer, members said.
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