mike pence looking down
Photo: Alexandros Michailidis/Shutterstock

Former Vice President Mike Pence is beginning his book tour to promote his memoir which talks about his time serving under former President Donald Trump. In an interview with ABC News, Pence was asked about Jan. 6 and his experience standing at the loading dock trying to figure out what was going on.

In clips teasing the interview, Pence looks down, pausing for a moment, appearing emotional, and called Trump "reckless." He said, "I can't account for what the president was doing that day."

Former Justice Department official Harry Litman said that he thinks Pence is hedging in his "very passive" answer about his thoughts on Jan. 6.

"But they have every reason to want him in front of the grand jury — the grand jury that is looking into Jan. 6 materials," said Litman. "I don't think that he'll have a great defense for [not] going there. But I think they will seek to get to call him. That will be one of the final moves when that happens, I think, that you'll know a decision is imminent. But he's definitely grand jury material."

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Wallace harkened back to books that have been written about the Trump White House that held back significant details that would have been helpful at the time of knowing them or in Trump's second impeachment trial. Instead, reporters who penned those books held them back to make extra cash on the book.

In the case of Pence, Wallace said, "there is no permission structure for an elected official whose entire salary is paid by 'we the people,' to hold back any information of an ongoing bipartisan investigation into a deadly insurrection."

Sykes agreed, citing previous comments by Luke Broadwater, who recalled Pence's top staffers testifying to the House Select Committee investigating Jan. 6, but they have not spoken to Pence.

"And you could see that Mike Pence is going through some things," said Sykes. "He's wrestling with breaking with Donald Trump much like many of his fellow Republicans. He's kind of working his way through all of this. But again this is one of the most striking moments to listen to one of the most loyal of Donald Trump's lieutenants. I mean somebody who had just, you know, gone along with absolutely everything to show his absolute fealty to this president to realize we're now at the point that he's talking about the president being reckless."

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Sykes went on to call the interview "striking," but wasn't certain whether it would matter in the end.

"But every time someone like a Mike Pence speaks out, it gives permission to other people with knowledge within that circle to also speak out," he noted. "And that may be one of the more significant elements here that there are other people who are sitting back looking, okay, should I say the same sort of thing, should I talk about this? If Mike Pence is willing to do this, what is my excuse for not doing so?"

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