Pence says 'history will hold Donald Trump accountable'
In one of the most forceful rebukes he has so far offered of his one-time boss, former United States vice president Mike Pence says "history will hold Donald Trump accountable" for his role in the attack on the US Capitol.
Pence was in the Capitol on January 6, 2021, when thousands of Trump supporters breached the building to try to stop Congress from certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election, which Trump lost to President Joe Biden.
As the vice president has the constitutional role of Senate president, Pence was presiding over what has always been the ceremonial task of approving the votes of the Electoral College to select the president and vice president.
Throughout the siege, Trump sent several tweets, one calling on Republicans to "fight" and others making false claims of voter fraud.
He also criticised Pence for certifying the results.
"President Trump was wrong," Pence told assembled journalists and their guests at the Gridiron dinner, an annual white-tie event in Washington, D.C.
"I had no right to overturn the election and his reckless words endangered my family and everyone at the Capitol that day, and I know that history will hold Donald Trump accountable."
Pence, who is considering a run for the Republican nomination for the 2024 presidential election, was whisked to safety by law enforcement during the attack.
He rarely addressed the attack in the months following the incident but has since upped his criticism of the rioters and the behaviour of his former boss that day.
Pence has sharply criticised Trump's conduct in recent media interviews and in a memoir released in November, accused Trump of endangering his family.
Still, Pence's comments on Saturday were among his most pointed to date.
"What happened that way was a disgrace," he said.
"And it mocks decency to portray it any other way.
"For as long as I live, I will never, ever diminish the injuries sustained, the lives lost, or the heroism of law enforcement on that tragic day."