The Department of Justice is looking to question former Vice President Mike Pence as a witness in its criminal investigation into former President Donald Trump’s attempt to stay in office after losing the 2020 election, several media outlets are reporting.
News of the DOJ’s request to interview Pence was first reported by The New York Times.
Pence’s team has indicated that he may come to an agreement with the Justice Department to provide some testimony, CNN reported.
News of the request came after the Justice Department appointed a special counsel to review two investigations into the former president’s actions after the November 2020 election — the incidents at the Capitol on Jan. 6 and the allegations of mishandling classified materials that were discovered at Mar-a-Lago — but the actual request for Pence’s participation was made before the special counsel was announced, CNN reported.
News of the potential interview came about a week after Trump announced his reelection bid.
Pence has rejected similar requests made by the House Jan. 6 committee, the Times reported.
Pence had said the committee had “no right” to his testimony, which had a response from the top two members of the committee — Reps. Bennie Thompson and Liz Cheney — who said, “The Select Committee has proceeded respectfully and responsibly in our engagement with Vice President Pence, so it is disappointing that he is misrepresenting the nature of our investigation while giving interviews to promote his new book.”
The former vice president recently released a memoir where he shared the inner workings of Trump’s bid to stay in office, CNN reported.
Trump could still limit or block Pence’s testimony by claiming executive privilege, something that the former president has attempted with varying success in the past, the Times reported.
Pence was witness to discussions between Trump and his inner circle to keep him in office and to block Congress from certifying the election of President Joe Biden.
Pence has said that he believed that Trump was wrong in saying that the vice president could overturn the results of the 2020 election, Reuters reported.
Pence was presiding over the joint session of Congress that was certifying Biden’s Electoral College vote and was in the Capitol when protesters swarmed the complex, CNBC reported. Pence was taken to a secure location in the building.
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