(Vice presidents have, in fact, testified before Congress but only on rare occasions.)
In recent weeks, the panel has been discussing what to do about some of the more high-profile potential witnesses, like Mr. Pence or Mr. Trump himself, and lawmakers have not reached a conclusion about how to proceed with either man.
How Times reporters cover politics. We rely on our journalists to be independent observers. So while Times staff members may vote, they are not allowed to endorse or campaign for candidates or political causes. This includes participating in marches or rallies in support of a movement or giving money to, or raising money for, any political candidate or election cause.
The panel had initially believed that both men would fight attempts to get them to testify, and some lawmakers worried that a public battle over getting them under oath would distract from the work of gathering facts about the Jan. 6 attack and the events leading up to it.
Representative Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi and the committee chairman, has previously said that the committee ruled out a subpoena for Mr. Pence, citing the “significant information” it had received from two of his aides, Marc Short and Greg Jacob, both of whom sat for depositions. Mr. Jacob also testified live during one of the panel’s hearings in June, calling a plan by the lawyer John Eastman to have Mr. Pence single-handedly throw the election to Mr. Trump during a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6, 2021, “certifiably crazy.”
Beyond speaking to the House committee, Mr. Short and Mr. Jacob have both appeared before a federal grand jury in Washington that is hearing testimony in the Justice Department’s parallel inquiry into Jan. 6. The men were present in the Oval Office for a meeting on Jan. 4, 2021, at which Mr. Trump had Mr. Eastman try to persuade Mr. Pence that he could delay or block congressional certification of Mr. Trump’s Electoral College defeat.
While it remains unclear whether Mr. Pence will speak to the committee, if he does he could presumably give the panel a fuller picture of the effort by Mr. Trump and Mr. Eastman to strong-arm him into disrupting the traditional democratic process.
A spokesman for the panel declined to comment Wednesday on Mr. Pence’s latest statements.
Another potentially high-profile witness, Virginia Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and a supporter of Mr. Trump’s efforts to stay in power after the 2020 election, is still on the committee’s list of witnesses to call, even though she has rebuffed attempts to interview her.
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