Mike Pence says he will not testify before Jan. 6 committee
The president’s pick for the vice presidency, Mike Pence, who is expected to be Indiana’s governor when Trump takes office Jan. 20, said he will not testify before the House Oversight Committee on Jan. 6 on whether White House aides abused government email systems for personal gain.
Pence, who takes the oath of office on Monday, is expected to become the first vice president to publicly discuss his emails.
After weeks of speculation over the details of Pence’s conversations with Trump, his advisers, and outside groups he has worked with, the vice president said he will not divulge the content of his discussions with Trump and his aides.
“I will not be testifying to the Oversight Committee,” Pence said on Sunday, adding his refusal was “consistent with past practice for vice presidents.”
Instead, he said he would answer any subpoena for information and cooperate with public records officials.
His move comes the same day that the Trump administration said it would issue letters to all three committee chairs requesting that they postpone their planned probes of Russia and the Trump campaign’s ties with Moscow, even though the White House has said that the intelligence community concluded no collusion took place.
Pence’s decision comes a week after he had announced that he would not testify at all, and after the White House indicated that it might try to pressure lawmakers into removing him as a witness if he refused to appear.
“The Oversight Committee will not subpoena Mike Pence,” Cummings wrote.
The House Oversight Committee said earlier on Sunday, while issuing the subpoena, it would also call Pence to testify as part of an investigation into the Trump administration’s security clearance process, which will include questions about how Obama-era security officials gave and denied requests for security clearances.
Pence, who was confirmed by the Senate in January as Indiana’s governor, has not been asked to appear before the committee and has said he will not do so now.
Pence, who has said he has no intention of resigning when Trump takes office on Jan. 20, said he did not want to address any questions of whether his conversations with Trump were in the public interest.
“It’s all about serving the American people, not serving myself,” Pence said. “These discussions with the president were public. This is about American public policy, not private conversations.