Pence Finally Agrees to Testify on Pre-Jan. 6 Convos With Trump
Former Vice President Mike Pence will not challenge a ruling ordering him to testify before a grand jury about conversations he had with former President Donald Trump in the aftermath of the 2020 election. The grand jury, empaneled by Special Counsel Jack Smith, is investigating Trump’s role in efforts to overturn the election results.
“Vice President Pence will not appeal the Judge’s ruling and will comply with the subpoena as required by law,” said Pence spokesman Devin O’Malley in a statement obtained by Politico on Wednesday.
U.S. District Court Judge James Boasberg ruled in March that Pence would not be exempt from providing testimony. In an appearance on Newsmax the same day, Pence said he had “nothing to hide” and was consulting with his attorneys regarding a potential appeal.
Pence had previously sought to block the subpoena and avoid questioning on the events of Jan. 6 entirely. The former VP argued that efforts to secure his testimony were “unconstitutional and unprecedented,” citing the Constitution’s Speech or Debate Clause. Pence will have to testify about conversations with Trump prior to Jan. 6, but not about anything that happened on Jan. 6 itself, when he was serving as the president of the Senate.
Pence announcing his intention to testify comes a day after a federal appeals court blocked a last-ditch request by Trump’s legal team to prevent several former aides from testifying before Smith’s grand jury. Trump is not expected to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.
Smith isn’t the only investigator who may seek Pence’s cooperation. Trump is also being probed on matters related to election interference in Georgia, and the potentially illegal retention of classified documents following his departure from office. Pence’s testimony regarding his knowledge of Trump’s actions while in office will be of interest to investigators.
Trump has already declared his candidacy for the 2024 Republican nomination, and his former VP is widely rumored to be considering his own bid. After failing to overturn his loss of the presidency, Trump placed the blame squarely on Pence’s shoulders, with the president tweeting on Jan. 6 to his mob of supporters that Pence had lacked the “courage” to act on his behalf and manipulate Biden’s electoral certification. Trump later blacklisted Pence from any of his future presidential bids.
The animosity between the former ticket mates and their potential rematch in the next election cycle hasn’t been enough to motivate Pence to go on the offensive against Trump.
Following the announcement of a criminal indictment against Trump, Pence called the prosecutor’s actions “an outrage,” and said that the whole thing “reeks of the kind of political prosecution that we endured back in the days of the Russia hoax and the whole impeachment over a phone call.”