WASHINGTON (AP) — Greg Pence watched the Jan. 6 insurrection unfold from an extraordinary perch.
As chants of “Hang Mike Pence” echoed in the Capitol, the Republican congressman from Indiana and his better-known brother were whisked away from the Senate by the Secret Service shortly before a mob of Donald Trump supporters burst in, intent on stopping the vice president from certifying Democrat Joe Biden’s win.
Their dramatic escape, caught on security cameras, came minutes after Trump excoriated Mike Pence on Twitter for lacking the “courage” to use his ceremonial post presiding over the certification of the 2020 election to overturn its outcome.
“My brother was being asked to do what we don’t do in this country,” Greg Pence recounted at a Republican fundraising dinner in his district last July, one of the rare instances he has spoken publicly about the attack. He later added, “I couldn’t be prouder.”
At the beating heart of the insurrection lies Trump’s attempt to pressure his vice president to take the unprecedented step of overturning the election. And few had a better vantage point on the day of the attack than Greg Pence, who watched the certification proceedings from the Senate gallery, then joined his younger brother in a private office off the Senate chamber when chaos broke out. They were evacuated, along with other members of the Pence family, to a secure area, where the vice president worked the phone, pleading for help to clear rioters from the building.
That makes Greg Pence a tantalizing prospective witness for the House Jan. 6 committee, which is investigating the origins of the insurrection that Trump fomented when he urged his supporters to march on the Capitol and “fight like hell.”
Pence has largely declined to discuss what transpired while he was with his brother that day, other than praising his brother as a hero for standing up to Trump.
His silence serves as powerful evidence of the grip that Trump still holds on his party, which has led many Republicans to dispute the seriousness of the attack and instead perpetuate the lie that Trump was wrongly denied a second term.
Pence declined last month to speak with The Associated Press at the Capitol. A spokesperson did not respond to multiple inquiries seeking comment.
For the complete story, see Wednesday’s Republic.