Liz Cheney says January 6 committee still wants to hear directly from Pence

“Look, he played a critical role on January 6. If he had succumbed to the pressure that Donald Trump was putting on him, we would have had a much worse constitutional crisis,” the Republican from Wyoming said. “And I think he clearly has, as he’s expressed, concerns about executive privilege, which, you know, I have tremendous respect for. I think it’s, you know, an extremely important constitutional question in terms of the separation of powers.”

Earlier this week, Pence said he would give “due consideration” to any formal invitation to testify before the committee. But he also said he would have serious constitutional problems appearing before the panel, and a person with knowledge of Pence’s thinking warned CNN against reading his remarks too broadly.

While Cheney acknowledged the concerns about executive privilege raised by Pence, she said she believes “when the country has gone through something as dire as this, everyone with information has an obligation to come forth. So I hope He will do that.”

When asked if Pence would appear before the committee in September, Cheney said, “I hope he understands how important it is for the American people to know all aspects of the truth about what happened. passed that day.”

The former vice president believes much of the information related to his Jan. 6 experience has already been provided to the committee because his former chief of staff Marc Short and attorney Greg Jacob testified in full, a source familiar with Pence’s thought. previously told CNN.

Speaking at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics on Wednesday, Pence said: “Under the Constitution we have three equal branches of government, and any invitation to me I should reflect on the unique role I was serving in as vice president. It would be unprecedented in history for a vice president to be called to testify on Capitol Hill. But, as I said, I don’t want to prejudge, so if we ever receive a formal invitation , we would give it all the necessary attention.”

While Pence said it would be “unprecedented” for a vice president to be asked to testify on Capitol Hill, presidents and vice presidents have testified before Congress in the past.

Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren, another member of the committee, told CNN’s Erin Burnett on Friday night that her “ears perked” when she heard Pence’s remarks.

“We learned a lot about what happened with the vice president because a lot of his close aides came and testified quite honestly and at length,” Lofgren said. “But of course it would be great to hear from the VP, and I don’t know if that was an offhand comment or if it was a message for us to send him an invite, but we will definitely pursue it. “

Cheney said she hadn’t seen Pence’s comments earlier this week, but “it looks like they’re quite similar to what his attorney said.” She said the committee and Pence’s attorney were in talks.

This is not the first time panel members have said they are in talks with Pence’s legal team.

On June 23, Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson, who chairs the committee, told reporters: ‘We’d like to have testimony from former Vice President Pence, we’ve asked for it, we’ve spoken to his attorneys in the past , but we are continuing the work.”

“At this point, with the hearings we’ve had, we think we’ve done a good job of telling the story of what happened,” Thompson said during the June interview.

In July, CNN reported on the committee members’ active conversations about whether to ask Pence, and even Trump himself, to testify.
And as early as January, Thompson said he wanted to hear directly from Pence.

Cheney on Friday would not respond directly if the committee asked Trump to testify. “I don’t want to make an announcement about that this morning. So let me stop there,” she said.

But when asked again if that was still a possibility, Cheney told ABC: “Yeah. I mean, I don’t — again, I don’t want to participate in the committee’s deliberations on this. I think it’s very important, as I said in the first or second hearing, you know, his interactions with our committee will be under oath.”

CNN’s Shawna Mizelle contributed to this report.

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