US media reports that the ruling may force Mike Pence to speak about Donald Trump’s actions after the 2020 election.
A federal judge in the United States has ordered former Vice President Mike Pence to testify before a grand jury as the Justice Department continues to investigate whether former President Donald Trump tried to reverse his loss in the 2020 presidential election.
U.S. District Judge James Boasberg’s ruling remains sealed.
- Advertisement -
But major US media outlets, including Reuters and the Associated Press, have reported that the decision will force Pence to appear in court and speak about conversations he may have had with Trump leading up to the 2021 US Capitol bombing. .
In that attack, on January 6, thousands of Trump supporters stormed the seat of Congress to disrupt the certification of the election results. The tidal wave of rioters sent politicians fleeing for safety and left police officers and participants injured or dead.
Pence, who was in the Capitol at the time, will not have to talk about his actions that day. As vice president at the time, he played a ceremonial role and oversaw election certification.
However, he will likely be asked to identify any illegal acts that may have been committed by his former boss, then-President Trump.
Such a scenario is unheard of in American politics, and legal teams for both Trump and Pence have objected to the prospect of the former vice president testifying.
- Advertisement -
The Associated Press reports that Pence’s lawyers are considering whether to appeal Tuesday’s ruling.
His legal team previously argued that Pence is protected from grand jury subpoenas under the Constitution’s “speech or debate” clause, which protects congressmen from legal action for anything said during legislative activity.
- Advertisement -
Speaking on right-wing news outlet Newsmax on Tuesday, Pence indicated the judge’s ruling would limit what he could testify about, in deference to the “speech and debate clause.”
“I am pleased that the court accepted our argument and recognized that the Constitution’s provision about speech and debate applies to the vice president,” he said.
“However, how they resolved that and the requirements for my testimony in the future are a subject of our review at this time, and I will have more to say about that in the coming days.”
Pence has previously sued Trump for his actions leading up to the attack on the Capitol.
“His reckless words endangered my family and everyone in the Capitol that day. And I know that history will hold Donald Trump to account,” he said at the Gridiron Dinner in Washington, DC, earlier this month.
A spokesman for Trump’s team responded to Tuesday’s ruling by reiterating that the Justice Department’s investigation into the former president was politically motivated.
“The DOJ is continually stepping far beyond standard norms in an effort to destroy the long-accepted, long-held, constitutionally based norms of attorney-client privilege and executive privilege,” the statement said.
In November, the Justice Department appointed a special counsel, Jack Smith, to helm two investigations into Trump: one into the former president’s handling of classified documents and the other into whether Trump was trying to defeat Democrat Joe Biden’s election victory in the United States. 2020 undone.
But Trump faces plenty of legal woes elsewhere, too. He faces a separate election-related investigation in Georgia, and last week sparked rumors of an impending arrest in a New York case over an alleged hush money payment to a porn star.
Trump has already announced that he is running for a second presidential term in 2024, but there has been speculation that Pence would race against him for the Republican nomination.