WASHINGTON ― Rep. Greg Pence (R-Ind.) voted against forming a commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol because he believed it would be another impeachment of Donald Trump.
He had nothing to say about the rioters who chanted about hanging his brother, former Vice President Mike Pence.
“I think the whole thing is to spend the summer impeaching, again, Donald Trump,” he told HuffPost on Thursday. “That’s all we’re doing. It’s a dog-and-pony show. … It’s another impeachment.”
Pence on Wednesday voted against bipartisan legislation to establish an independent commission to investigate the causes of the deadly attack and make recommendations so that something similar wouldn’t happen again.
Pence’s brother was at the center of the crowd’s anger that day. The mob ― pushed on by Trump himself, who was critical of his vice president ― swarmed the Capitol to stop Congress from certifying that Joe Biden had won the 2020 presidential election.
Some of the Trump supporters chanted “hang Mike Pence” and suggested executing him by hanging him for being a traitor. Some even erected a gallows.
The congressman called his brother a “hero” for doing his job and presiding over the certification of the 2020 election results, and he claimed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) wasn’t up to it.
“Nancy Pelosi said we can’t come back for two or three days,” Pence said. “He said as soon as the Capitol Police ― the heroes ― clear the building, I’m gaveling back in.”
Pelosi seemed to take offense at Pence’s remark.
“I was a force for coming back from the start and I was glad that it was bipartisan, that we all agreed to come back,” she told reporters Thursday. “He knows not of what he speaks, and he can ask is brother if he wants to get any information.”
The House approved the commission on Wednesday, with 35 Republicans joining Democrats in supporting it. The Senate now needs to vote on it, although Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has come out against the commission and GOP senators who previously sounded supportive are now indicating they may oppose it as well.
The panel would be modeled on the bipartisan 9/11 commission: Five members would be appointed by Republicans, five would be appointed by Democrats, and a final report would be due to the White House and Congress by the end of the year. The family of Capitol Police Officer Howie Liebengood, who died by suicide after the attack, came out in favor of the commission this week, as did some members of the Capitol Police.
As for his feelings about the rioters targeting his brother, Pence refused to share.
“My opinion about that night, and the heroism of my brother’s staying, is personal,” he said. “I’m gonna keep that to myself.”
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