Justice Department has reached out to Pence in Jan. 6 investigation, sources say
The Justice Department has reached out to speak with former Vice President Mike Pence in the department's ongoing investigation into the events surrounding Jan. 6 and alleged efforts by former President Donald Trump and his allies to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, sources familiar with the matter confirmed to CBS News.
The former vice president has received the request and is reviewing it, sources familiar with the matter tell CBS News.
The Justice Department declined to comment to CBS News. A spokesman for Pence also declined to offer a comment.
The New York Times was first to report on the Justice Department seeking to interview Pence.
In the final days of Trump's presidency, Pence endured intense pressure from Trump, who urged him to unilaterally overturn the 2020 presidential election results on Jan. 6, 2021, when Congress counted the electoral ballots, by refusing to affirm the ballots of battleground states that had voted for Joe Biden.
Pence ultimately announced Mr. Biden as the winner of the 2020 election at 3:40 a.m. on Jan. 7, 2021. Since then, he has not wavered in his belief that Mr. Biden won the election, despite Trump's refusal to acknowledge the election results. Pence told "Face the Nation" last week that "Joe Biden was elected president of the United States of America."
Last week, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced special counsel Jack Smith would be overseeing the key aspects of the Justice Department's investigation into the Jan. 6 attack, as well as the retention of national defense information at Trump's residence at Mar-a-Lago
The Justice Department's criminal investigation is separate from the one being conducted by a House select committee, which will sunset at the end of 2022. Although Pence had once said he was open to speaking to the committee, he told "Face the Nation" last week that Congress has "no right to my testimony."
The House Jan. 6 committee in October subpoenaed Trump.
Trump has announced he is running for president in 2024. While Pence has not made any announcements, he has not ruled out a presidential run and he told "Face the Nation" last week that he thought there would be "better choices" than Trump in 2024.
Robert Legare contributed reporting.
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