WASHINGTON – Former Vice President Mike Pence, who was a target of the Jan. 6 mob, said Monday he hopes the Justice Department will not bring charges against his former boss.
“I think the president’s actions and words on Jan. 6 were reckless, but I don’t know that it’s criminal to take bad advice from lawyers,” Pence told Fox News. His comments came hours before the congressional committee that investigated the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol recommended former President Donald Trump be prosecuted over his efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
Pence dismissed the bipartisan Jan. 6 committee as partisan because its members were appointed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. He emphasized that the Justice Department is not required to follow the committee’s recommendations.
“I hope the Justice Department understands the magnitude, the very idea of indicting a former president of the United States,” Pence said. “I think that would be terribly divisive in the country at a time when the American people want to see us heal.”
Trump pressured Pence publicly and privately to help him stay in power, eventually putting Pence in direct danger on Jan. 6, Rep. Pete Aguilar, R-Calif, emphasized during Monday’s committee hearing.
Aguilar said Trump’s scheme was based on an “unfounded legal theory” that Pence had the ability to overturn the election by rejecting electors during the certification of results. Pence himself had denied having such power, which resulted in an angry phone call between himself and Trump.
“Wimp is the word I remember,” said former assistant to Trump, Nicholas Luna, in a clip played by the committee. Luna had overheard the phone call and added that Trump remarked he made the wrong decision years ago in choosing Pence as vice president.
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