Former Vice President Mike Pence, who congressional investigators said was 40 feet from a pro-Trump lynch mob in the course of the Capitol riot, said Monday he won’t allow Democrats to make use of the rebellion to distract from their “failed agenda.”
Pence, the main focus of the third public hearing of the House committee investigating the 2021 riot, recognized Jan. 6 as a “tragic day,” but defended the record of former President Donald Trump’s administration.
“January 6 was a tragic day, and I do know we did our duty, but I’ll all the time be happy with our record,” Pence said in an interview with Fox News Digital following his speech on the economy on the University Club of Chicago. “And I’m not going to permit the Democrats to make use of that tragic day to distract attention from their failed agenda or to demean the intentions of 74 million Americans who rallied behind our cause.”
Pence said he was concerned over what he called “voting irregularities” within the 2020 election, but stopped well in need of embracing Trump’s lies about vote fraud.
“I had hoped that the courts — including the Supreme Court — would have taken up and thought of the proven fact that plenty of states had modified rules governing elections,” Pence said. “But, ultimately, the courts passed on them, and the Electoral College certified the consequence, and I knew that my oath was clear.”
The House panel on Thursday revealed the pro-Trump mob was 40 feet from the vp and his family at one point on Jan. 6. Some rioters chanted “Hang Mike Pence” after a Trump tweet calling out Pence for refusing to dam President Joe Biden’s win.
The hearing also revealed members of the Proud Boys extremist group “would have killed Mike Pence if given the prospect,” a committee member said.
Despite the harrowing experience, Pence told Fox News Digital he and Trump “were very close friends,” and ended their term in office “amicably.”
“I don’t know if the president and I’ll ever see eye to eye on my duties on Jan. 6, but, within the aftermath of that tragic day, we sat down, and we talked through it,” Pence said.
Asked if he’s considering a presidential run in 2024, Pence didn’t rule it out, but said his priority is for the GOP to win this 12 months’s midterm elections.
“Karen and I’ll do what we’ve all the time done — we’ll take time to hope about it, we’ll seek counsel of trusted friends and advisers, and we’ll go where we’re called,” Pence said.
“One thing I’ll let you know is that I won’t let anybody else make that call for me,” Pence added.
Members of the House committee have signaled that they could subpoena Pence to testify.
“Actually a possibility,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. “We’re not excluding anyone or anything at this point.”
On Tuesday, the committee will hear from state officials, including Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, to debate the pressure they were under to dam Biden’s win.
Read Pence’s full interview with Fox News Digital here.