Former Trump White House Counsel Pat Cipollone said ex-Vice President Mike Pence deserved a presidential medal of freedom for rebuffing his boss’s wishes to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
Mr. Cipollone told the House Jan. 6 committee that he raised the suggestion in an unspecified forum that Mr. Pence deserved the award for his courage in standing up to Mr. Trump‘s false claims of election fraud.
“He did a great service to this country,” Mr. Cipollone said in his testimony to the committee, adding that he had a “great deal” of respect for Mr. Pence.
Mr. Cipollone said Mr. Pence did not have the authority to overturn the election, as Mr. Trump had urged him to do in favor of their administration. He testified that he agreed with former Attorney General William Barr that there was no evidence of significant election fraud that would have changed the outcome.
The committee previously focused on Mr. Trump‘s “pressure campaign” on Mr. Pence, showing clips of protesters calling for the vice president’s life. Mr. Pence presided in the traditional role of certifying the Electoral College results during the constitutionally mandated count in Congress on Jan. 6, 2021.
The committee’s Tuesday hearing is focusing on a variety of aspects that led up to the 2021 Capitol attack, including the rise of right-wing extremist groups and Mr. Trump‘s promotion of his “Stop the Steal” rally ahead of supporters’ march to the Capitol.
SEE ALSO: Trump sought to name Sidney Powell as White House special counsel to seize voting machines
It marks the seventh hearing the panel has led on its investigation into the event. They are expected to hold another one next week and produce a report at the conclusion of their hearings.