Time to read: 4 mins
•The Justice Department is seeking to question former Vice President Mike Pence as a witness in connection with its criminal investigation into former President Donald J. Trump’s efforts to stay in power after he lost the 2020 election, according to two people familiar with the matter.
• Mr. Pence, according to people familiar with his thinking, is open to considering the request, recognizing that the Justice Department’s criminal investigation is different from the inquiry by the House Jan. 6 committee, whose overtures he has flatly rejected.
• An agreement for him to cooperate would be the latest remarkable twist in an investigation that is already fraught with legal and political consequences, involving a former president who is now a declared candidate to return to the White House — and whose potential rivals for 2024 Republican nomination include Mr. Pence.
In a turn of events, the Justice Department has now included former Vice President Mike Pence in its criminal investigation into former President Donald J. Trump. This is quite a twist, considering how tight-lipped Pence has been about his level of knowledge and involvement regarding Trump’s post-election activities. Up until this point, Pence has been cooperative with neither the Justice Department nor the House Jan 6 Committee’s investigations. However, this latest development could mean that he is finally ready to give them the information they need in order to get to the bottom of this matter.
Background information on the Justice Department’s Investigation
The criminal investigation began shortly after Trump lost the 2020 election to President Joe Biden. Since then, prosecutors have been looking into whether Trump violated any laws in his attempts to stay in power. They have questioned several people who were close to Trump at the time, including his former chief of staff Mark Meadows, and several White House aides. As part of their investigation, prosecutors have also looked into whether Trump unlawfully pressured Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to overturn the election results.
What exactly Mike Pence knows about Donald Trump’s attempts to stay in power is still unknown. However, if he does have information that can shed some light on this matter, it would be a major breakthrough for both the Justice Department and House Jan 6 Committee’s investigations.
Potential political ramifications for Mike Pence
If it is revealed that Pence had knowledge of Trump’s attempts to pressure Georgia’s Secretary of State or any other illegal activity, it could seriously damage his political reputation. His 2024 presidential aspirations could be dashed and he might even face criminal charges himself. However, if he is able to provide investigators with valuable information that helps lead to Trump’s conviction, it could boost his chances of becoming the 2024 Republican nominee for president.
The Justice Department’s criminal investigation into former President Donald J. Trump just took a surprising turn with the inclusion of former Vice President Mike Pence. What exactly Pence knows about Trump’s attempts to stay in power after losing the 2020 election is still unknown. However, if he does have information that can shed some light on this matter, it would be a major breakthrough for both the Justice Department and House Jan 6 Committee’s investigations. Only time will tell how this all plays out and what implications it will have for Pence’s future political aspirations.