(DCWatchdog.com) – Former Vice President Mike Pence has decided not to appeal a federal judge’s ruling obliging him to give testimony before a grand jury probing the January 6, 2021, events at the US Capitol.
The decision announced by Pence’s spokesman likely means that he would disclose “how Trump privately pressured him to overturn the 2020 election results,” National Review reports.
In February, Pence was subpoenaed by the Justice Department’s Special Counsel in the January 6 probe, Jack Smith, who issued a motion to compel the former vice president’s testimony.
In early March, Pence asked a judge to block the subpoena order on the grounds of the Constitutional protection known as the “speech and debate clause.”
His legal team argued that due to his dual function as vice president and president of the US Senate, Pence had a hybrid position and was thus entitled to legislative protections from criminal inquiries.
At the end of March, District Court Judge James Boasberg ruled that Pence had to testify in a “limited capacity” in what became the first case “in American legal history where a vice-president was found to have some elements of congressional immunity,” The Review notes.
“The Court’s landmark and historic ruling affirmed for the first time in history that the Speech or Debate Clause extends to the Vice President of the United States,” Mike Pence’s spokesman Devin O’Malley stated.
“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,” he added.
Former President Donald Trump’s legal team has been trying to prevent former administration officials from testifying. Yet, last year, a judge’s order compelled former aides and lawyers of Trump to testify before a grand jury.
On Monday, Trump’s lawyers filed an emergency motion against a ruling by a lower court that allowed associates to testify in the January 6 investigation of DOJ Special Counsel Jack Smith.
The ruling means that officials such as Trump’s former Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, and the former Director of National Intelligence, John Ratcliffe, may be summoned.
The report points out that Mike Pence has been more and more critical of his former boss Donald Trump over the past year.
In February, the former vice president once again refuted claims that the president of the US Senate had the power to overturn the results from presidential elections by refusing to certify them.
“I heard this week that President Trump said I had the right to overturn the election. President Trump is wrong. I had no right to overturn the election. The presidency belongs to the American people, and the American people alone,” Pence told a Federalist Society event in Florida.
“Frankly there is almost no idea more un-American than the notion that any one person could choose the American president,” the former vice president declared.
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