The newly established chief judge of the D.C. District Court has ruled that former Vice President Mike Pence must provide grand jury testimony in the ongoing criminal investigation at the federal Justice Department by Special Counsel Jack Smith into circumstances leading up to January 6.
The ruling itself is not available publicly, although it is the subject of media reports that follow earlier comments from Pence outlining his intentions to fight a subpoena for his testimony in the special counsel’s probe. Among what was cited from Pence’s corner was the so-called Speech and Debate Clause of the Constitution, which contains provisions ordinarily shielding legislators from certain forms of law enforcement scrutiny related to their official duties. The same clause came up in courtroom stand-offs over whether Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) would testify in the criminal investigation in Georgia led by District Attorney Fani Willis into attempts after the last presidential election at undercutting the results in the state on Trump’s behalf.
Graham had been in contact with Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s top elections official who won another term in the midterm elections last year. The Senator was said in accounts of what went down to have raised the prospect of discarding vast caches of mail-in votes in Georgia, which it was difficult to tie in entirety to Graham’s consideration of his votes in Congress on certifying the presidential election’s results, and he ultimately testified.
As for Pence, he retains the option to decline to answer specific questions related to what he was doing on January 6, per what CNN outlined. His idea was to extend the protections ordinarily afforded to legislators to himself because of his dual role as president of the Senate, a post he utilized that day to lead the certification of results. Like with Graham and, among other things, certain communications he may have had with individuals around Trump and the then-president’s team, there’s more to be asked of Pence, however. Conversations with Trump could also come up as investigators focus on what the then-president was intending and planning as January 6 approached. That’s where CNN focused. “A federal judge has decided that former Vice President Mike Pence must testify to a grand jury about conversations he had with Donald Trump leading up to January 6, 2021, according to multiple sources familiar with a recent federal court ruling,” they reported.
Also recently ordered to testify were a group of former aides and associates to the ex-president, including Mark Meadows, Stephen Miller, and Ken Cuccinelli, among others, like Dan Scavino. And in yet another federal investigation, Trump’s lawyer Evan Corcoran also recently provided additional testimony for Smith’s team in the probe into Donald harboring classified docs.