Pence does not commit to cooperating with Jan. 6th congressional committee


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BEDFORD, N.H. – Former Vice President Mike Pence says he’ll “evaluate” any requests to cooperate with the special congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol.

“We’ll evaluate any of those requests as they come,” the former vice president told Fox News and the Associated Press on Wednesday, during a jam-packed one-day trip to New Hampshire.

The select committee, created by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic majority in the chamber, is investigating the origins of the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capital by right-wing extremists and other supporters of former President Donald Trump who aimed to disrupt congressional certification of President Biden’s Electoral College victory in the 2020 election.

FORMER VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE’S JAN. 6 CONUNDRUM 

Pence, in his constitutional role, oversaw the congressional certification and ignored repeated requests by then-President Trump to overturn the Electoral College results. By following the law instead of carrying out Trump’s wishes, Pence has endured the wrath of the former president and plenty of Trump’s most devout loyalists and supporters.

The former vice president, for months, has said that he did “the right thing” and did his “duty under the Constitution.” 

“Jan. 6 was a tragic day in the life of our nation’s capital. But thanks to the efforts of law enforcement that day, we quelled the riot and reconvened the Congress, and we completed our work,” Pence emphasized in an interview with Fox News during a stop at a bakery in Bedford, New Hampshire.

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Asked if he’d cooperate with the committee, Pence said: “They’ve begun an investigation, and I can tell you that going forward, we’ll do our part to make sure the American people understand the issues on that day, which for me ultimately come down to what the Constitution required. From the founding of this nation, our founders believed that elections should be governed at the state level and that the only role the Congress would have would be to open and count the electoral votes.”

Former Vice President Mike Pence, during a trip to New Hampshire, greets customers at Simply Delicious Bakery in Bedford, N.H., on Dec. 8, 2021

Former Vice President Mike Pence, during a trip to New Hampshire, greets customers at Simply Delicious Bakery in Bedford, N.H., on Dec. 8, 2021
(Fox News )

Pence once again noted that “for my part, I know we did our duty, opening and counting the votes.” 

And he predicted that “in the days ahead the American people are going to get the answers they need and understand what took place that day, and I hope they’ll see more and more that the work we did that day is consistent with our Constitution and our laws.”

But the former vice president repeated comments he’s made before, saying, “I believe there were irregularities in the states” during the 2020 presidential election.

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And pointing to moves by GOP-controlled states this year to pass new laws tightening voting rules, Pence said he’s “pleased to see states around the country beginning to reform their state election laws to effectuate that.”

Pence’s comments came two days after word that Marc Short, one of Pence’s closest advisers, is cooperating with the Jan. 6 committee. 

Former Vice President Mike Pence headlines a Heritage Action'Save our Paychecks' political event in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Dec. 8, 2021

Former Vice President Mike Pence headlines a Heritage Action ‘Save our Paychecks’ political event in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Dec. 8, 2021
(Fox News)

During his trip to New Hampshire, a key general election battleground state, Pence worked to support fellow Republicans running in the 2022 elections.

His busy itinerary included a meeting with the New Hampshire Federation of Republican Women, mingling with GOP lawmakers and officials, and patrons at bakery run by a strong Republican activist. He took aim at President Biden’s agenda as he headlined a Heritage Action “Save Our Paychecks” event and spoke with the New Hampshire Home Builders Association. He capped his trip by keynoting a fundraiser for the New Hampshire Senate Republicans.

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Pence, a former congressman and governor of Indiana, has been tireless so far this year in traveling across the country to help the GOP win back majorities in the House and Senate and pick up more governorships in the 2022 elections. 

Asked by Fox News if Trump’s repeated re-litigating of his 2020 election loss to Biden is helpful as the GOP ramps up for the 2022 midterms by targeting the current president’s agenda, Pence didn’t criticize his former boss. 

But he stressed that “Elections are always about the future.”

“Here in New Hampshire, and as I travel around the country, looking at the failed policies of the Biden administration, now more than ever I think we need to focus on the historic opportunity that we have to win back the Congress, to win statehouses, to elect conservative governors around the country,” he noted.

Pence’s travels across the country this year have taken him to the first four states that vote in the race for the White House. The stop in New Hampshire was his second this year to the state that for a century has held the first primary in the presidential nominating calendar. The former vice president last month made his second visit this year to Iowa, the state whose caucuses for half a century have kicked off the White House race. Pence also stopped this spring in South Carolina, which votes third in the GOP primary and caucus calendar, and last month in Nevada, which holds the fourth contest.

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Wednesday’s visit sparked more speculation that the former vice president is starting to gear up for a 2024 run for the White House. Pence is far from the only high-profile Republican mulling a presidential bid. And Trump repeatedly teases making another run in 2024.

Asked whether his decision on a White House bid would be dependent on Trump’s own 2024 decision, Pence didn’t directly answer. Instead, he demurred, saying, “I’m completely focused on 2022. And come 2023, we’ll do as our family has always done. We’ll reflect and pray and consider where we might next serve.”

Fox News Paul Celeste contributed to this report

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