Mike Pence to respond to warrant to testify | The USA Print

Mike Pence to respond to warrant to testify

A spokesperson for Mike Pence said Wednesday that the former vice president will not appeal a judge’s order compelling him to testify in the Justice Department’s investigation into the efforts of donald trump and their allies to overturn the 2020 election results.

The decision sets up a possible appearance for Pence in the coming weeks before a federal grand jury that will scrutinize attempts by the former president and his supporters before the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021, to undo Democrat Joe Biden’s victory.

Multiple Trump administration officials have testified in that inquiry, as well as in a separate investigation looking into Trump’s possession of classified documents, but Pence would be the highest-profile witness to answer questions before a grand jury. His closed-door testimony could give investigators a firsthand account of Trump’s state of mind in the crucial weeks after his loss to Biden and further expose the rift in his relationship since the start. end of his administration.

The tension could rise as Pence nears a potential 2024 presidential run and a challenge to Trump, who is already in the running for the Republican nomination.

After Pence was subpoenaed months ago by the Justice Department’s special counsel, Trump’s lawyers objected on executive privilege grounds. But a federal judge in Washington last week rejected those arguments and forced Pence to testify.

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg handed Pence a victory by accepting the arguments of Pence’s lawyers that, for constitutional reasons, he could not be questioned about his actions on January 6. They argued that because Pence was serving in his capacity as president of the Senate that day, he was protected from being compelled to testify under the Constitution’s “speech or debate” clause, which is intended to protect members of Congress from questioning. on official legislative acts.

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“Having vindicated that principle of the Constitution, Vice President Pence will not appeal the judge’s ruling and will comply with the subpoena as required by law,” Pence spokesman Devin O’Malley said in a statement Wednesday.

Trump’s team could still appeal Boasberg’s executive privilege ruling.

The investigations into the Jan. 6 and classified records are being led by Jack Smith, a former war crimes prosecutor who was appointed by the Justice Department in November to serve as special counsel. It is unclear when the investigations might end or if anyone will be charged.

Pence has spoken at length about Trump’s lobbying campaign urging him to reject Biden’s victory in the days leading up to January 6, including in his book, “So Help Me God.” Pence, as vice president, had a ceremonial role in overseeing the Electoral College vote count by Congress, but had no power to affect the results, despite Trump’s claims to the contrary.

Pence has said Trump endangered his family and everyone else on Capitol Hill that day and history will hold him “accountable.”

“For four years, we had a close working relationship. It didn’t end well,” Pence wrote, summing up his time in the White House.

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