The chair of the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol building wants former Vice President Mike Pence to testify before the panel — and hinted that the testimonies from members of Trump’s inner circle could be aired on prime-time television later this year.
Trump, the former president, pushed for Pence prior to the Capitol attack to do “the right thing”by refusing to certify Electoral College, and disregarding 2020 election results. On Tuesday, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D.Mississippi), who was chair of the January 6-commission, used similar language while urging Vice President Mike Pence to testify.
“I would hope that he would do the right thing and come forward and voluntarily talk to the committee,” Thompson said in an interview with CNN.
Thompson added that the commission has not yet “formally asked” Pence to testify. “But if he offered, we’d gladly accept,” he said.
Notably, Numerous Trump loyalists called on Pence to be hungAfter they broke into Capitol.
“His life was at risk,” Thompson went on. “There were people who had gallows erected on the lawn of the Capitol ostensibly to hang the vice president. They were threatening the vice president’s life. Because of the riot, the vice president was unable to leave the Capitol of America. He was held in an area of the Capitol. So his life was in danger.”
Thompson also said that it was important to get Pence’s insight on why Trump waited more than three hours before telling his loyalists to “stop and go home because my vice president is in the building and his life is in danger,” adding that it was an “absolute shame” that Trump didn’t say something sooner.
In a separate interview published by Bloomberg on Tuesday, Thompson said that it was important for future commission hearings to be more public — and hinted at airing them on television during prime-time hours.
“The public needs to know, needs to hear from people under oath about what led up to January 6, and to some degree, what has continued after January 6,” Thompson said.
Although the majority of the select committee’s work is being done in the evening, most of their public hearings are being broadcast during daytime hours. The American public might be more interested in the work of the commission if it airs interviews with witnesses or shares evidence at later hours.
“The Select Committee views upcoming hearings as one of its most important opportunities to lay out facts and provide answers to the American people about the January 6 attack and its causes,” an aide from the committee said. “Across a series of hearings, we want to tell a story, start to finish, reaching as many people as we can.”
The hearings haven’t been scheduled yet, but may begin around March or April, Thompson said.
Republican members of Congress would likely challenge the decision not to air the hearings live on prime-time television, especially those who have deep loyalty to Trump. The move could dispel misinformation and give Americans a better understanding of the Capitol attack. Trump’s incitement of his loyalists, his administration’s Attempts to reverse the election resultsHis name is Refusal to take actionHundreds of people were injured inside the building.