Mike Pence says he'd consider testifying before Jan. 6 committee if asked

In one of its hearings, the panel focused on Trump's pressure campaign on Pence.

ByAlexandra Hutzler and Katherine Faulders ABC logo
Wednesday, August 17, 2022
Rudy Giuliani set to testify in Georgia probe about 2020 election
Rudy Giuliani is set to testify before a special grand jury on Wednesday as the target of a criminal investigation into potentially illegal attempts to interfere in the 2020 general election in Georgia.

Former Vice President Mike Pence said Wednesday he'd consider testifying before the House Jan. 6 committee if asked, in some of his most specific comments yet on the prospect.

Appearing at a "Politics & Eggs" breakfast in Manchester, New Hampshire, where presidential hopefuls often speak since the state holds the nation's first primary, Pence was asked if he'd be "agreeable" if the committee were to call on him to testify.

"If there was an invitation to participate, I would consider it," Pence responded.

"But you've heard me mention the Constitution a few times this morning. In the Constitution there are three co-equal branches of government, and any invitation that would be directed to me I'd have to reflect on the unique role I served as vice president."

"Any formal invitation rendered to us, we'd give it due consideration. But my first obligation is to continue to uphold my oath, continue to uphold this framework of government enshrined in the Constitution, this created the greatest nation in the history of the world," he continued.

Pence's answer was yet another break from his former boss, Donald Trump, who has repeatedly slammed the committee's work as politically motivated.

Committee investigators have for months been privately engaging with Pence's lawyer about securing his potential testimony, sources have told ABC News.

Pence has largely avoided discussing the work of the Jan. 6 committee despite being cheered by the its members for resisting Trump's demands. In June, he told Fox News Democrats were using the panel to "distract attention from their failed agenda."

The focus of one of the committee's hearings zeroed in on the pressure campaign on Pence, waged by Trump and his allies to attempt to get him to support their effort to overturn the election.

Members of the committee have said a subpoena for Pence's testimony was not off the table, but have also indicated his testimony may not be necessary in filling any gaps given the committee interviewed Pence's former chief of staff Marc Short and had Pence's former counsel Greg Jacob testify publicly.

The committee also aired a never-before-seen photograph of a phone call between Trump and Pence on the morning of Jan. 6, 2021, that onlookers, including Ivanka Trump, described as "heated."

Hours later, when the joint session of Congress resumed after the attack, Pence rejected Trump's last-ditch demands to unilaterally reject Joe Biden's electoral victory.

The committee also revealed that the mob came within 40 feet of the vice president, who was ushered to an underground location for hours as the violence unfolded. Jacob said in his appearance before the committee that Pence stayed in the area so as to "not to take any chance that the world would see the vice president of the United States fleeing the United States Capitol."

Jacob also testified that Trump didn't check on Pence at all during that time, which he said left Pence frustrated.

Pence and Trump haven't spoken in over a year, sources familiar with the matter told ABC News in June.

The House Jan. 6 committee, made up of nine Democrats and two Republicans, held eight public hearings this summer to reveal the findings of their year-long probe into the events before, during and after the U.S. Capitol attack.

Trump, they argued, was at the center of the attack. He was well-aware of the fact that he lost the 2020 election, members said, but moved ahead anyway with a pressure campaign against federal and local officials to illegally overturn the results.

"Over the last month and a half, the Select Committee has told the story of a president who did everything in his power to overturn an election," Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said in the last public hearing on July 12. "He lied. He bullied. He betrayed his oath. He tried to destroy our democratic institutions. He summoned a mob to Washington."

The committee will next reconvene in September.

ABC News' Hannah Demissie contributed to this report.