Jan. 6 chair says panel will move this month to ask Pence to testify

Rep. Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonSunday shows preview: US reaffirms support for Ukraine amid threat of Russian invasion Jan. 6 committee asks Ivanka Trump to sit for interview Judge denies Trump spokesman's effort to force Jan. 6 committee to return financial records MORE (D-Miss.), chairman of the committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, said the panel plans to ask former Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceMan who threatened to kill Ocasio-Cortez, Pelosi pleads guilty to federal charges Giuliani led fake electors plot: CNN The Hill's 12:30 Report: Dems look to repackage BBB into salvageable bill MORE to voluntarily appear before the committee.

"I think you could expect that before the month's out," Thompson told NPR in a Friday interview.

Thompson had previously floated the idea of asking Pence to appear before the committee, telling CNN he hoped the former vice president “would do the right thing and come forward and voluntarily talk to the committee."

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"We have not formally asked. But if he offered, we'd gladly accept. Everything is under consideration," he said. 

A formal invitation would take the form of a letter to Pence, asking for an interview with the committee’s investigators on proposed dates, but would fall short of the obligatory nature involved with a subpoena.

Speaking with The Hill on Thursday, Thompson said he had not heard anything from Pence after hitting the airwaves expressing optimism for his cooperation.

“The Chairman’s comments indicate that the Select Committee is contemplating issuing an invitation to the former Vice President some time this month,” a select committee aide told The Hill. 

Another aide stressed the matter and timeline are still under consideration.

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“The committee is taking a responsible and considered approach to these matters and will address these issues in an appropriate fashion and at an appropriate time,” a senior official with the committee said. 

A formal request to Pence would be the fourth such request by the committee, after the committee sent letters asking for voluntary appearances by Reps. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanJan. 6 committee asks Ivanka Trump to sit for interview Rand Paul cancels DirecTV subscription after it drops OAN Sunday shows preview: Democrats' struggle for voting rights bill comes to a head MORE (R-Ohio) and Scott PerryScott Gordon PerryJan. 6 committee asks Ivanka Trump to sit for interview GOP's McCarthy has little incentive to work with Jan. 6 panel McCarthy says he won't cooperate with 'illegitimate' Jan. 6 probe MORE (R-Penn.).

Pence made clear leading up to the Jan. 6 attack that he would vote to certify the election results, issuing a letter shortly before the proceedings saying “my oath to support and defend the Constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not.” 

"The vice president was put in a tough spot. The president was putting a lot of pressure on him to break the law, and he stood fast," Thompson told NPR, referring to former President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden says Roe v. Wade under attack like 'never before' On student loans, Biden doesn't have an answer yet Grill company apologizes after sending meatloaf recipe on same day of rock star's death MORE

"And because of his respect for law, there were people who came to the Capitol a year ago wanting to hang him. And so, if for no other reason, our committee really needs to hear what are his opinions about what happened on January 6."

Updated at 9:23 p.m.