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Former Vice President Mike Pence will not appeal a court order requiring him to answer questions in front of a federal grand jury about private conversations he had with former President Donald Trump before the January 6 storming of the Capitol, according to multiple reports, setting up what could be another historic legal moment concerning the ex-president.
Pence spokesman Devin O’Malley said in a statement to multiple media outlets that Pence “will not appeal the judge’s ruling and will comply with the subpoena as required by law.”
A D.C. district judge reportedly ordered Pence to testify last month, rejecting an argument from Trump’s attorneys stating the conversations between the president and vice president are protected by executive privilege.
The judge did partially uphold Pence’s claim that certain conversations should be protected under the Constitution’s Speech or Debate Clause, which shields information about certain legislative actions from investigators, since Pence served as president of the Senate to certify presidential election results on January 6.
The decision will let Pence limit his testimony to conversations leading up to January 6, rather than the day of the riot itself, which O’Malley called a “landmark and historic” win for Pence’s team, according to the New York Times.
Trump’s attorneys could still appeal, but it is not clear if they will do so—a spokesman for the former president did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Forbes.
What We Don’t Know
It’s not clear when Pence will appear before the panel.
Pence’s decision is just the latest in a now-immense list of legal blows for the former president, capped by his arrest Tuesday in New York City on state charges. The January 6 investigation is one of two probes Department of Justice special counsel Jack Smith is overseeing, the other being Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified documents. Trump also faces a criminal investigation in Georgia into attempts to overturn the 2020 election, criminal probes in New York over potentially fraudulent property valuations and a $250 million civil lawsuit from New York Attorney General Letitia James for alleged financial misconduct, among other legal headaches. Pence has sought to distance himself from investigations into January 6, even though he denounced Trump’s actions on the day of the riot, saying the former president “endangered my family.” The House January 6 committee’s investigation into the storming of the Capitol identified Pence as a central player in thwarting what it said was a multi-faceted scheme from Trump and his team to overturn the results of the 2020 election, though Pence refused to testify before the committee and blasted its probe as politically motivated.
Trump pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Manhattan Criminal Court to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records. Prosecutors say Trump fraudulently claimed to pay former fixer Michael Cohen a series of checks for legal services, when the money was actually to reimburse Cohen for a $130,000 hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels late in the 2016 presidential campaign to keep her from publicly disclosing an affair she claimed to have with Trump years earlier.
Pence Ordered To Testify About Trump Conversations Before Jan. 6 Grand Jury, Reports Say (Forbes)
First Photos Of Trump In Court Released (Forbes)
Key Trump Attorney Testifying In Mar-A-Lago Case Friday—Here’s Why It Could Be A Big Deal (Forbes)
Trump Pleads Not Guilty To 34 Counts Of Falsifying Business Records (Forbes)
Mike Pence Says He Will Not Testify Before Jan. 6 Committee In New Interview (Forbes)