The January 6 panel is calling out Pence after he called the committee “partisan”.
The January 6 Committee of the House of Representatives took offense at former Vice President Mike Pence, who called the panel “partisan” and said he had no interest in providing it with his testimony.
in a (n interview With CBS airing Wednesday, Pence said it would set a “terrible precedent” for Congress to force his testimony and that an “opportunity was lost” when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D -Calif) handpicked the member of the committee.
“With that, I’m closing the door,” Pence said of the prospect of appearing before the committee.
“But I have to say again, the partisan nature of the January 6 committee was a disappointment to me,” he added. “In the beginning it seemed to me that there was an opportunity to examine every aspect of what happened on January 6th in a more 9/11 Commission spirit, impartially, non-politically, and that was a missed opportunity . ”
The former Vice President, who was at the Capitol Building with his daughter on Jan. 6, 2021 and remained there for the duration of the riots, has previously said he believes former President Donald Trump’s actions in the run-up to the riots were “reckless” and “endangered” him and his family.
“I have never prevented senior members of my team from working with the committee and testifying,” Pence said Wednesday.
“But Congress has no right to my testimony,” he added. “We have a separation of powers under the United States Constitution. And I think it would set a terrible precedent for Congress to invite a Vice President of the United States to speak about deliberations that have taken place in the White House.”
Hours after the interview aired, committee chairs Reps. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) issued a statement expressing their disappointment with Pence.
“The Select Committee has been respectful and responsible in our dealings with Vice President Pence, so it is disappointing that he misrepresents the nature of our investigation while giving interviews to promote his new book,” the statement said.
The committee chairs also argue that the panel is not “partisan” and that House Minority Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) decided to withdraw all of his panel nominees after Pelosi rejected some of them.
“Our investigation has publicly presented the testimonies of more than 50 Republican witnesses, including senior members of the Trump White House, the Trump campaign and the Trump Justice Department. This testimony, which faces criminal charges for lying to Congress, was not “partisan.” It was truthful,” write the committee leaders.
“Leader McCarthy had the opportunity to nominate five members of the select committee. Speaker Pelosi initially accepted three of those nominees and invited Leader McCarthy to propose two more. Instead of doing so, McCarthy withdrew all of his nominees and refused to participate at all — so he could make the false claim that the committee was completely one-sided,” the statement continued, calling McCarthy’s decision “a cynical decision.”
The committee chairs concluded their statement by noting that they “consistently commended” Pence for not bowing to Trump on Jan. 6, but that his recent comments are “inaccurate.”