Trump Appeals Order Requiring Pence to Testify

April 10, 2023

Attorneys for former President Trump filed an appeal Monday against a court order requiring former Vice President Pence to testify in the special counsel investigation into the deadly January 6, 2021 insurrection.

In late March the chief judge of DC’s federal district court ruled that Pence must adhere to special counsel Jack Smith’s request and testify before a grand jury about his discourse with Trump leading up to the January 6 assault on the Capitol and efforts to undermine Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 Presidential election.

In the ruling, Judge James Boasberg said that Pence can still decline to answer questions related to his actions on the day of January 6 itself, when he was serving as president of the Senate and undertook his duty to certify the Electoral College vote count that Trump lost to Biden. 

This past Wednesday, Pence said he would not fight the court ordered subpoena requiring his testimony. He had previously asserted that because he was serving in his capacity as President of the Senate on January 6 that he was shielded 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.”

At his “Stop the Steal” rally ahead of the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol that day, Trump said to the gathered crowd 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!”

Four people died during the insurrection, and five police officers died of various causes following the attack.

Smith is overseeing both the federal the investigation into Trump’s role in the insurrection as well as Trump’s mishandling of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida after leaving office. He was appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland in November.

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