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Even Mike Pence's own brother balks at independent Jan. 6 probe

We've all heard the expression about blood being thicker than water, but it's striking how frequently the maxim is tossed aside in Republican politics.

We've all heard the expression about blood being thicker than water, but it's striking how frequently the maxim is tossed aside in Republican politics.

Perhaps the most infamous modern example is Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who embraced Donald Trump even after the former president attacked the senator's wife and tried to implicate Cruz's father in the JFK assassination. There's also Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who continues to carry Trump's water, even after the former president also went after the senator's wife.

As the Washington Post noted this morning, even the Bush family is not immune: "[J]ust this week, George P. Bush reiterated he supports Trump and went so far as to say Trump should be the Republican Party's 2024 presidential nominee. This despite Trump having regularly attacked his uncle (former president George W. Bush) as being responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States; his dad (Jeb Bush), and even his mother (Columba Bush). Similar to the attack involving Elaine Chao's heritage, Trump at one point promoted a tweet suggesting Jeb Bush was soft on 'Mexican illegals' because his wife was born in Mexico."

But of particular interest this week is Rep. Greg Pence (R-Ind.). The Washington Post reported yesterday afternoon:

Rep. Greg Pence (R-Ind.), the brother of former vice president Mike Pence, said in a statement Wednesday that he will vote against the formation of an independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob. The Indiana congressman was with the vice president during the Jan. 6 attack. They huddled together inside a Capitol office guarded by Mike Pence's Secret Service detail and later took an unknown evacuation route to a secure room in the Capitol complex.

In case this isn't obvious, the rioters, spurred on by Donald Trump's mindless attacks against the then-vice president, hunted Pence during the assault on the Capitol. They were heard literally chanting, "Hang Mike Pence!"

If any House Republican was going to support the creation of an independent commission to examine the events of Jan. 6, common sense -- and common decency -- would suggest it'd be Mike Pence's brother.

But Greg Pence voted "no" anyway.

In fact, despite the fact that the violent insurrectionists were threatening to hang Mike Pence, Greg Pence issued a written statement that read in part, "Hanging Judge Nancy Pelosi is hellbent on pushing her version of partisan justice complete with a hand-picked jury that will carry out her pre-determined political execution of Donald Trump before law enforcement officials have completed their investigation."

Propriety would suggest the Indiana Republican avoid words and phrases like "hanging" and "political execution" given the context, but there was Rep. Pence, issuing the statement anyway.

To the extent that reality still has meaning, the congressman's statement wasn't even accurate. The independent commission wouldn't feature a "jury" whose members are "hand-picked" by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. On the contrary, thanks to bipartisan negotiations, the commission would be evenly divided and Republican leaders would choose half of its participants.

Maybe Greg Pence knows this and chose to deceive the public. Maybe he didn't bother to look into the details before issuing his statement. Either way, the GOP Hoosier was clearly wrong.

In a HuffPost interview this morning, the congressman added, in reference to the proposed bipartisan commission, "I think the whole thing is to spend the summer impeaching, again, Donald Trump. That's all we're doing. It's a dog-and-pony show. ... It's another impeachment."

In other words, Greg Pence believes an independent review of the attack on his own country's Capitol -- a violent riot that put his own brother's life in danger -- would likely make Donald Trump look bad, and so therefore, the exercise isn't worthwhile.

It's tempting to wonder whether the next Pence family gathering might be a little awkward, but it's far from clear whether Mike Pence will even mind Greg Pence's indifference toward investigating the events of Jan. 6.