Pence more reluctant to cooperate with Jan. 6 commission after it gave Meadows contempt referral: report
Pence photo via AFP

Former Vice President Mike Pence is telling aides that he may not cooperate with the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

According to a New York Times report Monday, Pence said that he might refuse to cooperate because the committee voted to hold Mark Meadows and Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress and referred them to the Justice Department.

Pence apparently thinks that's partisan.

"And Mr. Pence, they said, has grown annoyed that the committee is publicly signaling that it has secured a greater degree of cooperation from his top aides than it actually has, something he sees as part of a pattern of Democrats trying to turn his team against Mr. Trump," said the report.

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Among the 30,000-plus documents handed over to the committee have been evidence that revealed Pence was pressured by several Republican officials, Justice Department officials, aides to Trump and by Trump himself to deny certification of the 2020 election. A memo by conservative lawyer John Eastman falsely made a case that Pence could throw the election back to state legislatures, which could overturn the vote of the people.

With Pence's testimony, the report said that the committee might have "sufficient evidence to make a criminal referral of Mr. Trump to the Justice Department."

While Trump hasn't revealed whether or not he will run for president again in 2024, aides have already urged him to drop Pence from the ticket, Bloomberg News reported in March 2021.

During a Dec. 2021 rally Bill O'Reilly, Trump claimed Pence "has been very badly hurt" by certifying the 2020 election on Jan. 6.

"I was disappointed in one thing, but it was a big thing. Mike should have sent those crooked votes back to the legislatures and you would have had a different result in the election, in my opinion," Trump said.

Speaking before the Jan. 6 crowd outside of the White House, Trump said: “If Mike Pence does the right thing, we win the election."

Supporters of the president then flocked to the Capitol where they erected a gallows with a noose and began chanting "hang Mike Pence!"

The Times also reported that federal prosecutors appear to be looking carefully at Trump's pressure of Pence when doing charges for the Capitol attackers.

"His efforts to rally his supporters to keep up that pressure even after Mr. Pence decided that he would not block certification of the Electoral College results," said the report.

"In plea negotiations, federal prosecutors recently began asking defense lawyers for some of those charged in Jan. 6 cases whether their clients would admit in sworn statements that they stormed the Capitol believing that Mr. Trump wanted them to stop Mr. Pence from certifying the election," the report explained. "In theory, such statements could help connect the violence at the Capitol directly to Mr. Trump’s demands that Mr. Pence help him stave off his defeat."

Read the full piece at The New York Times.