Rep. Greg Pence (R-Ind.) opposed an independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, even though his own brother was a central target of the mob’s fury.
“Hanging Judge Nancy Pelosi is hellbent on pushing her version of partisan justice complete with a hand-picked jury that will carry out her pre-determined political execution of Donald Trump before law enforcement officials have completed their investigation,” Pence said in a statement Wednesday, according to The Washington Post.
The House voted to approve the commission Wednesday evening, with 35 Republicans joining Democrats in supporting it. Pence voted against it. The commission, modeled on the bipartisan 9/11 commission, would investigate the causes of the deadly attack and make recommendations so that it wouldn’t happen again.
Pence’s choice of the words “hanging” and “execution” is curious, because those are exactly the words used by the mob on Jan. 6 that was looking for his brother, former Vice President Mike Pence.
The entire reason the mob marched to the Capitol on Jan. 6 was to stop Congress, and the vice president, from certifying that Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election.
The mob was driven there by Donald Trump himself, who put his own vice president in the crowd’s crosshairs during a speech at a “Stop the Steal” rally that day. Trump expected Mike Pence to single-handedly stop the certification and prevent Biden from being declared the winner ― something he was not legally allowed to do. He said he hoped Pence would do “the right thing” because then “we win the election.”
“Mike Pence is going to have to come through for us, and if he doesn’t, that will be a sad day for our country because you’re sworn to uphold our Constitution,” Trump said.
As Trump supporters overtook the Capitol, they weren’t just looking to take out their wrath on Congress; they were also looking for Pence.
The violent mob came dangerously close to Pence. Secret Service officers were able to safely take the vice president and his family to a secure location off the Senate floor. If they had been a few seconds later, however, Pence would have been within view of a group of rioters who had made their way up to the second floor.
The legislation to establish the independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 riot was drafted by both Democrats and Republicans. The commission has the support of the family of Capitol Police Officer Howie Liebengood, who committed suicide after the attack. Yet since then, GOP leaders have come out against the panel with false accusations that Democrats negotiated in bad faith and tried to tip the scales in their favor.