Pence Won’t Appeal Ruling Requiring his January 6 Testimony

April 5, 2023

Former Vice President Pence will not appeal a court order requiring his testimony before the grand jury investigating former President Trump’s role in the deadly January 6, 2021 insurrection, his office said Wednesday.

Pence spokesman Devin O’Malley issued a statement, saying, “Vice President Pence will not appeal the Judge’s ruling and will comply with the subpoena as required by law.”

Pence was subpoenaed in February by Special Counsel Jack Smith who is overseeing, among his duties, the investigation into Trump’s role in the January 6 insurrection and attempt to overturn the 2020 Presidential election.

The former Vice President had initially said he would fight the subpoena under the “speech and debate” clause of the Constitution, which essentially states that speech inside the Capitol by Senators and Representatives is privileged and “shall not be questioned in any other place.”

Pence was acting in his role as then-President of the Senate on January 6 to certify the 2020 electoral college count that Trump lost to President Biden. 

At his “stop the steal” rally ahead of the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol that day, Trump said to the crowd gathered on the National Mall, “I hope Mike Pence is going to do the right thing” and refuse to certify the results.

Pence was 40 feet from the mob when he fled from the rioters inside the Capitol building, shouting, “Hang Mike Pence!”

Pence’s decision Wednesday follows a sealed ruling by Chief U.S. District Judge James Boasberg requiring his testimony—though the judge said that Pence can still decline to answer questions related to his actions on the day of January 6 itself.

Boasberg did say Pence must answer questions about his conversations with Trump leading up to January 6.

The announced decision by Pence comes one day after Trump was arraigned at the criminal courthouse in Manhattan on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records and conspiracy related to his role in hush money payments during the 2016 campaign season.

That arraignment—unprecedented in U.S. history against a former President—may open the door to further indictments, including the federal government’s investigation into January 6, Trump’s role in mishandling of classified documents, and an investigation in Georgia into Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 election in that state. 

PHOTO Source: Tyler Merbler

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