Mike Pompeo says he “never seriously” tried to use the 25th Amendment to remove former President Donald Trump from office after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
The ex-secretary of state sought to downplay — but pointedly did not deny — reports that he and other Cabinet members talked about ousting Trump for inciting the riot.
“They [Jan. 6 committee] were looking for discussions about the 25th Amendment, discussions that I never seriously undertook with my counterparts,” Pompeo said in an interview on Fox News late Thursday.
Pompeo’s statement, who is considering a 2024 presidential run, comes as panel Vice Chair Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., has publicly disclosed that the committee has several former Cabinet officials in mind for interviews. Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s treasury secretary, testified before the committee last month.
“It was [like] they were looking to build a storyline the conclusion of which was already written,” Pompeo said. “They were chasing witches, all right?” Pompeo said, “This was a far-afield, wandering interview.”
Pompeo, who served as CIA director and top diplomat, has remained on good terms with his former boss, continuing to defend Trump after the Jan. 6, 2021, siege of the U.S. Capitol.
The Jan. 6 attack left at least nine people dead in the riot and its aftermath, including a Trump supporter shot by police and a police officer who died later.