Jan. 6 committee praises Pence for bucking Trump, credits him for saving democracy

The Jan. 6 committee investigating the 2021 Capitol riot praised former Vice President Mike Pence for bucking his boss on overturning the 2020 election results in his favor.

The Democrat-led panel said Mr. Pence’s actions to reject former President Donald Trump’s pressure not to certify the electoral votes from the states helped save the country’s democracy last year.

“Vice President Pence did the right thing that day to stay true to his oath to protect and defend the Constitution,” said Rep. Pete Aguilar, California Democrat.

Rep. Bennie Thompson, the Mississippi Democrat who chairs the committee, said the country survived Jan. 6 in part because of Mr. Pence’s actions to certify the results in favor of now-President Biden.

Rep. Liz Cheney, Wyoming Republican who has emerged as a sharp critic of Mr. Trump and his actions that day, said the former vice president did his duty.

“Vice President Pence understood that his oath of office was more important than his loyalty to Donald Trump,” Ms. Cheney said. “He did his duty. President Trump unequivocally did not.”

The committee’s third public hearing this month focuses on Mr. Trump’s “pressure campaign” against Mr. Pence to get him to reject the Electoral College results over their ticket’s loss in the November 2020 election. Those testifying include Mr. Pence’s attorney, Greg Jacob, and conservative lawyer and former federal judge Michael Luttig.

The committee also showed video footage of Mr. Pence defending his actions against Mr. Trump and the former president urging his vice president to reject the results and send the votes back to the disputed states hours before the riot.

Video footage of rioters threatening to “hang Mike Pence” and take his life was also shown.

“Mike Pence is going to have to come through for us, and if he doesn’t, that’s going to be a sad day for our country. … I’m going to be very disappointed in him,” Mr. Trump said at his rally ahead of the riot.

A clip of Mr. Pence speaking at a Federalist Society event showed him attacking Mr. Trump over his push to make him reject the electoral vote tally.

“What the president wanted the vice president to do was not just wrong, it was illegal and unconstitutional,” Mr. Pence said.

The committee will continue to hold several hearings this month, unveiling their findings in their nearly yearlong investigation into the roots of the riot.

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