Washington, Jan 8 (IANS) Former US Vice-President Mike Pence on Sunday denounced the already debunked conspiracy theory that the FBI instigated the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol.
“We’ve been assured again and again that it was not the case,” Pence told CNN a day after the third anniversary of the insurrection on Capitol.
“I just must tell you, having been there that day, to see people literally breaking windows, ransacking the Capitol, it just infuriated me. I remember thinking ‘not this, not here, not at the US Capitol,'” he said.
Pence expressed his gratitude to the FBI for its efforts to arrest those who “ransacked our Capitol and indulged in violence against police officers that day,” demanding those who participated in the attack be held to “the fullest extent of the law”.
“I am very grateful to the FBI,” he added.
The attack, he said, “should never have happened. As I’ve said many times before, the former President’s words that day were reckless. I believe history will judge his role in that.”
A recent Washington Post poll showed one-third of the Republicans believe the conspiracy that the FBI instigated the January 6 attack — a claim that former President Donald Trump echoed just days ago.
“They simply need to look at the facts that the Capitol Hill Police endured great hardship and great harm,” Pence said asking people to be aware of the real situation and not to be taken in by such falsehoods.
The former Vice-President said the upcoming Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire primary offered Republicans the chance to “give our party a fresh start and give us new leadership to lead our party forward in the election and beyond”.
Pence, who was in the race for presidency in 2024, dropped out midway through his campaign.
During the Capitol attack, Pence was rushed out of the Senate chamber as rioters calling for his death stormed the halls of US Congress as Trump remained at the White House watching the insurrection unfurl, CNN said.
Trump tried unsuccessfully to invoke the 25th amendment of the Constitution to get Pence to de-certify the 2020 presidential election result to retain him (Trump) in the White House and keep Biden out.
Neither Trump nor Pence called each other or talked to each other for several days after the attack and have since gone their separate ways — including on the Inauguration Day for current President Joe Biden.
Pence remained in Washington to attend Biden’s swearing-in ceremony and Trump left for his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida before the ceremony began.