Then–Vice President Mike Pence reads the final certification of Electoral College votes early in the morning of Jan. 7, 2021, when the joint session reconvened following an hours-long disruption after the Capitol was invaded by a pro-Trump mob.
J. Scott Applewhite/Pool/Getty Images
As the House committee investigating the 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol focused almost entirely Thursday on the role Mike Pence played in averting a constitutional crisis, the former vice president was far from Washington.
Rather than watch the hearing, Pence was in Ohio, campaigning for Gov. Mike DeWine and a Republican congressman — the latest step in a carefully managed re-emergence onto the national political scene as he appears to lay the groundwork for a 2024 presidential campaign.
“Ultimately, I believe that most Americans understand that we did our duty that day under the Constitution and the laws of this country,” Pence said in an interview of his actions on Jan. 6, when he rebuffed pressure from then-President Donald Trump to reject electoral votes for Joe Biden.
It was the most visible break Pence displayed after four years of loyalty to Trump. Committee members said the president’s resulting actions helped trigger an attack that included calls for the vice president’s hanging.
Key Words (October 2021): Mike Pence labels continued focus on Jan. 6 an attempt to ‘demean’ Trump supporters
Pence, nonetheless, indicated he isn’t interested in relitigating the 2020 election as Trump has since his loss to Biden, to the frustration of some GOP leaders.
An expanded version of this report appears at WSJ.com.
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