MANCHESTER, NH (AP) — Former Vice President Mike Pence pleaded Wednesday fellow republicans a stop lashing out at the fbi on the raid on Donald Trump’s house in Florida and denounced calls by some of the former president’s allies to defund the FBI, saying that was “just as wrong” as the push by Democratic activists to siphon money away from the police.
Pence also said he would give “due consideration” if asked to testify before the House committee investigating the case. riots in the united states capitol It is January 6, 2021.
His pleas for restraint come as law enforcement officials warn of a growing number of violent threats targeting federal agents and government facilities since agents last week wanted Mar-a-Lago as part of the Department of Justice investigation about the discovery of classified White House records recovered from Trump’s estate earlier this year.
Speaking in New Hampshire, Pence said he was concerned about what he called the politicization of the FBI. He also said the Justice Department and Attorney General Merrick Garland should be more forthcoming about what prompted authorities to conduct the search.
But Pence, who is trying to chart his own political path as he and Trump consider 2024 presidential campaignshe also had a message for the Republican Party.
“I also want to remind my fellow Republicans that we can hold the attorney general accountable for the decision he made without targeting FBI rank-and-file law enforcement personnel,” Politics & Eggs, a St. Anselm College breakfast meeting for business leaders, said at the event. which has become a regular stop for White House hopefuls in early voting status.
“The Republican Party is the party of law and order,” Pence continued. “Our party stands with the men and women on the thin blue line at the federal, state and local levels, and these attacks on the FBI must stop. Calls to defund the FBI are just as bad as calls to defund the police.”
Trump and some other Republican lawmakers have tried to capitalize on the search by portraying it as an act of political persecution and an attack on the rule of law.
For former political allies, their paths parted on January 6, 2021, when a mob of angry Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in an effort to stop Congress’s formal certification of Joe Biden’s presidential victory. Trump denounced his vice president, who was presiding over the Senate, for refusing to object or delaying the certification — something Pence had no power to do. A fake gallows was built on the National Mall, and the people who stormed the Capitol chanted: “Hang Mike Pence! Hang Mike Pence!”
Prior to Wednesday, Pence had declined to say whether he would participate with the House committee investigating the insurgency if the panel requested his testimony.
“If there was an invitation to participate, I would consider it,” Pence said, adding that he would first reflect “on the unique role” he was playing as vice president.
“It would be unprecedented in history for a vice president to be subpoenaed to testify on Capitol Hill, but like I said, I don’t want to prejudge,” he said. “If we were ever made a formal invitation, we would give it due consideration.”
A committee spokesman declined to comment on Pence’s comments.
The Pence committee and team have had an open line of communication since Pence’s former chief of staff, Marc Short, agreed to testify privately in December 2021 after receiving a subpoena. Short was on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 and accompanied Pence as the then vice president fled the Senate chamber and hid from rioters calling for his hanging.
In Short’s taped testimony, broadcast at the committee’s public hearings this summer, he described attending White House meetings before the insurrection during which Trump allies discussed ways to overturn the 2020 election results.
At one point, Trump had expelled Short from the White House grounds because Short objected to pressure on Pence to reject legitimate election results.
So far, committee members have not decided to pursue Pence’s testimony, saying Short and Pence’s former attorney, Greg Jacobs, have provided investigators with plenty of evidence.
Associated Press writer Farnoush Amiri in Washington contributed to this report.
More on the investigations related to Donald Trump: https://apnews.com/hub/donald-trump