Federal judge rules Mike Pence must TESTIFY before grand jury probing Trump’s 2020 election overturn effort
- U.S. District Court Judge James E. Boasberg issued a sealed ruling
- Pence fought subpoena, citing Constitution’s ‘Speech or Debate’ clause
- He had multiple interactions with Trump leading up to January 6
Former Vice President Mike Pence must testify in special counsel Jack Smith’s probe of former President Donald Trump’s 2020 election overturn effort, a federal judge ruled Tuesday.
Federal Judge James E. Boasberg, the chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, issued his sealed ruling in Washington on Tuesday.
Pence had fought a subpoena seeking testimony. His lawyers invoked the Constitution’s ‘Speech or Debate’ clause, pointing to his ceremonial role as Senate vice president.
The judge, who recently succeeded Judge Beryl Howell as chief judge on the court, did include some limitations in the ruling, NBC News reported, allowing Pence limited protections due to his legislative role. (Lawmakers also often invoke it for protections related to their official duties and statements).
Those limitations wouldn’t apply to alleged ‘illegality’ by the former president.
Pence is allowed to decline to answer questions related to his actions on January 6, CNN reported.
Former Vice President Mike Pence must testify in special counsel Jack Smith’s probe of former President Donald Trump’s 2020 election overturn effort, a federal judge ruled Tuesday
Trump publicly and privately demanded Pence refuse to accept votes certified by states when Congress met to count the electoral votes on January 6, 2021.
Pence is set to campaign in Iowa on Wednesday as he prepares for a potential run for the White House. Trump, who has announced a campaign to get back to the White House, wrote that Pence lacked ‘courage’ on January 6.
Pence criticized his boss at a swanky dinner in D.C. last month.
‘His reckless words endangered my family and everyone at the Capitol that day, and I know that history will hold Donald Trump accountable,’ Pence said at the annuarl Gridiron dinner in Washington.
Pence could choose to appeal the ruling.
Several defendants who had a role on January 6 have been convicted on ‘seditious conspiracy’ charges, and hundreds have been charged with offenses related to the attack on the Capitol, which came as Congress met to count the electoral votes.
Pence is set to campaign in Iowa on Wednesday
Pence’s lawyers had resisted the subpoena, invoking the Constitution’s ‘Speech or Debate’ clause
Trump said Pence lacked ‘courage’ when he didn’t yield to Trump’s demand that he refuse to accept votes certified by states
The development came Monday as Trump has faced legal setbacks on a number of fronts.
Chief Judge James E. ‘Jeb’ Boasberg issued the ruling Tuesday
A separate grand jury in Manhattan is reportedly meeting again Wednesday on an investigation related to the ‘hush’ payments reimbursed by Trump that went to porn star Stormy Daniels, who claims she had an affair with him in 2006. Trump denies the affair, and furiously attacked Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg in online posts and at a rally with supporters over the weekend in Waco, Texas.
On Friday, it was revealed that Judge Howell ruled against Trump’s claim of executive privilege and ruled that former White House Chief of Staff Meadows and other former aides must testify before the grand jury in a sealed order.
Pence wrote in his own memoirs about some of the events leading up to January 6.
He wrote that Trump told him on a Jan. 1, 2021 phone call that, ‘You’re too honest,’ and said ‘hundreds of thousands are going to hate your guts.’
‘Mr. President, I don’t question there were irregularities and fraud,’ Pence wrote he told Trump. ‘It’s just a question of who decides, and under the law that is Congress.’
Special Counsel Jack Smith has obtained a series of favorable rulings during his probe
Pence refused to testify before the House Select January 6 Committee, although some of his key aides did submit to questioning. The committee in its hearings repeatedly referenced members of a crowd who chanted ‘hang Mike Pence!’ and featured images of a scaffold constructed near the Capitol that day.
Members lauded him for refusing to leave the Capitol that day, even as he came within yards of an angry mob.
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