Former VP Pence Moves Beyond Trump With Plans to Form Political Committee

In this image from video, Vice President Mike Pence speaks as the Senate reconvenes after protesters stormed into the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. (Senate Television via AP)

Former Vice President Mike Pence is beginning to build a political future without Donald Trump, including making plans to form a policy-focused political committee that would help him maintain a relationship with donors, according to multiple sources familiar with his plans.

Pence, who left Washington and took a post-inauguration vacation with his wife in St. Croix ahead of resettling in Indiana, is expected to announce his new venture in the coming weeks, sources said.

To say the end of his time in office was rocky, would be to put it mildly. His relationship with Trump has been virtually non-existent since a mob of the former president’s followers stormed the U.S. Capitol in a failed attempt to assassinate Pence and overturn the outcome of the election. Before the January 6 riot, Pence’s time with Trump had been defined by the vice president’s role as a loyal soldier.

After Pence and his family had to be rushed from the Senate chamber and hidden from the rioters, it has raised questions about whether he might testify in Trump’s upcoming impeachment trial, which will consider whether the former president was guilty of insurrection after encouraging his supporters to go the Capitol.

However, there have not been signals from lawmakers who will conduct the impeachment trial that Pence could be called as a witness, like discussion of conducting depositions or preparing a statement.

And those close to Pence think his legal counsel would argue he has executive privilege, according to one Republican source. Executive privilege is the constitutional protection that prohibits the legislative branch from compelling testimony from the executive branch.

But it remains unclear whether the staff who were with Pence on Jan. 6th, and who experienced the riot as well, would also be able to invoke executive privilege.

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SOURCE: CNBC, Hallie Jackson and Monica Alba

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