The Justice Department has asked former vice president Mike Pence to appear for questioning in connection with the US Capitol riot on January 6, 2021.
The DOJ is currently probing into the circumstances which led to the attack, and the role of former US President Donald Trump and his supporters to topple the 2020 presidential election.
The riot happened in the aftermath of the defeat of Donald Trump in the 2020 election, and a mob attacked the US Capitol building on January 2020, which resulted in the death of five people and several injuries, including the cops present at the building.
Though Trump has officially condemned the riot, he is being probed by the Justice Department for his role in inciting the Jan 6 violence.
Mike Pence To Appear As A Witness
According to trusted sources connected with the investigation, Mike Pence has been contacted by the Justice Department to appear as a witness in the ongoing investigation.
Though no official response from the former Vice President has been confirmed yet, he is believed to be considering the request since the Justice Department’s probe is different from that of the House of Representatives committee.
Neither the Justice Department nor the official spokesperson for Pence has yet commented on the matter. Though Pence had been silent on the incident for a long time, he had recently spoken against Trump by saying that the former’s words had put his family and the people at the Capitol in danger.
He had said that Trump’s words were “reckless” and that he had decided to be a “part of the problem”. Pence had also remarked that January 6th was the most difficult day in his public life.
Currently, no definite steps have been taken to include Pence in the questioning, and the official discussions on the same are in their initial stages.
The process is expected to take months before anything definite can be produced such as a subpoena. There is also a concern that his testimony may be slowed or blocked by Trump and his supporters, trying to invoke the executive privilege.
Apart from the former vice president, the Justice Department has tried to engage in negotiations with some of the former advisors of Trump, asking them for testimony. Currently, Trump has initiated a campaign for the presidential election, and the situation could only be a little tricky for Pence.
But when asked about Trump’s presidential campaign, he remarked that he believed there would be “better choices”.
Attorney Got Criticised For Slow Investigation
The efforts to bring Pence into testifying against Trump are considered a major step in the ongoing investigation since Attorney General Merrick Garland had previously faced criticism for being slow in investigating Trump’s and his political supporters’ role in the attempts to topple the results of the election.
Later the probe had extended to Trump’s aides, in and out of the White House, who helped to plan and finance the demonstration before the January 6 riot.
The people whom the Justice Department had sought to collect information include Trump’s chief of staff, his top advisors, and several other political aides.
In the immediate aftermath of the rally that led to the violent attack on the Capitol, some of the aides of Pence including his chief of staff had answered to a grand jury based in Washington.
The Justice Department is also collecting evidence in its separate probe on the destruction and manhandling of government properties including highly classified government documents seized by the FBI at his residence at Mar-a-Lago.
Meanwhile, in Georgia, another separate probe is being conducted by the District Attorney on Trump’s and his supporters’ efforts in countering the results of the election in the state.