Pence says Jan. 6 was ‘disgrace’ and ‘history will hold Trump accountable’
Former Vice President Mike Pence said late Saturday that “history will hold Donald Trump accountable” for the events of Jan. 6, 2021, levying harsh criticism on the former president as Pence mulls a 2024 White House bid.
“President Trump was wrong,” Pence said at the annual white-tie Gridiron Dinner attended by politicians and journalists, according to The Associated Press. “I had no right to overturn the election. And his reckless words endangered my family and everyone at the Capitol that day, and I know history will hold Donald Trump accountable.”
The remarks by Pence were some of his sharpest condemning the former president, after Trump waged a pressure campaign to get Pence to interfere with the certification of the 2020 election results.
But as Pence says history will hold Trump accountable, he has also tried to avoid testifying in the federal probe that is investigating the former president for his involvement in the insurrection and his efforts to overturn the election. Pence was subpoenaed by Jack Smith, the special counsel tasked with investigating Trump, but Pence has asked a judge to block the call for his testimony.
“I’m going to fight the Biden DOJ’s subpoena for me to appear before the grand jury because I believe it’s unconstitutional, and it’s unprecedented,” Pence told reporters after an event in Iowa last month.
Pence has continued to try and distance himself from the Jan. 6 rioting. The storming of the Capitol resurfaced in the news recently, after Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) provided access to government tapes of the events to Fox News host Tucker Carlson. The cable host used two nights of his show to portray the Capitol breach as simply a peaceful protest.
“Make no mistake about it, what happened that day was a disgrace,” Pence said at the dinner on Saturday. “And it mocks decency to portray it any other way.”
Pence has been making visits to early primary states in the Republican nominating process, as he mulls a White House campaign against the former president, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley and conservative entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy.
–Updated at 9:02 a.m.
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