Pence says he would 'consider' testifying for Jan. 6 committee, breaks with Trump on FBI attacks

·3 min read

Former Vice President Mike Pence said Wednesday that Republicans should support federal law enforcement, amid attacks and threats spurred by the FBI's retrieval of classified documents from the Florida resort and home of former President Donald Trump. Pence also said he would consider testifying before the House Jan. 6 committee.

“If there was an invitation to participate, I would consider it,” Pence said at the Politics & Eggs breakfast of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics, a regular stop for presidential hopefuls. But he cautioned that it would be “unprecedented” for a vice president to be summoned to testify before Congress.

Mike Pence speaks to a group of listeners.
Former Vice President Mike Pence at the Politics & Eggs breakfast of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics in Manchester, N.H., on Wednesday. (Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

Members of the Jan. 6 committee, including Chairman Bennie Thompson, have said that the door is open to Pence and that they have been in talks. But neither side has stated explicitly where those talks are. Spokespeople for the committee did not immediately return a request for comment.

Pence, a possible 2024 contender, also broke explicitly with Trump and his allies over the recent attacks on federal law enforcement stemming from the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago.

“These attacks on the FBI must stop. Calls to defund the FBI are just as wrong as calls to defund the police,” Pence said Wednesday.

His comments came as he launches a swing through a pair of early-voting states, continuing to tease a 2024 run for president.

After Wednesday’s New Hampshire event, Pence is scheduled to attend the Iowa State Fair this Friday with Iowa Republican heavyweights Sen. Chuck Grassley and former longtime Gov. Terry Branstad. He is later set to headline an event for the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition, a Christian conservative group.

Former President Donald Trump speaks to supporters under a banner that reads: Save America!
Former President Donald Trump speaks to supporters in Waukesha, Wis., on Aug. 5. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Trump saw a surge of support from Republican officials at the start of last week immediately following the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago. But that support has cooled following revelations that agents removed 27 boxes of classified intelligence — some of it possibly regarding nuclear weapons — and an increase in threats against law enforcement tied to Trump’s verbal attacks on agents after the search.

Since leaving office more than 18 months ago, Trump has held the lion’s share of voter support for the Republican nomination in 2024. But that support has steadily declined, while support for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has steadily increased — Trump did see a brief spike immediately after last week’s search was announced, but it’s unclear if that’s a new trend. Pence, despite refusing to back Trump’s effort to overthrow his 2020 election loss on Jan. 6, 2021, has maintained a core of support among Republican voters — but has yet to gain ground in a shadow primary field still dominated by Trump and DeSantis.