Mike Pence Agrees To Testify Amid Criminal Probe Into Trump & Jan. 6

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Former Vice President Mike Pence has evidently agreed to testify in the criminal investigation led by Special Counsel Jack Smith into political circumstances after the last presidential election as Trump tried to stay in office despite losing to Joe Biden.

A report from POLITICO highlighted that a spokesperson for the former vice president indicated Pence didn’t intend to appeal the decision by D.C. federal Judge James Boasberg providing for Pence to still face some questioning, covering topics like communications with Trump that were outside the established portions of his duties as president of the Senate. Having, among other things, led the targeted Congressional proceedings that were meant for certifying the presidential election outcome, Pence had cited Constitutional protections normally available to legislative officials in seeking to evade questioning following a subpoena.

Although the proceedings are largely secret except leaks to the media, POLITICO also noted that Pence wasn’t the only interest having raised a challenge to the push for his testimony in the special counsel’s probe into January 6. Unsurprising claims of executive privilege also emerged from Trump’s corner, but the ex-president — besides his arraignment this week in a Manhattan criminal case — is in the middle of losing in court elsewhere amid pushes for testimony from others. That list includes associates of the former commander-in-chief like Mark Meadows, Dan Scavino, and Ken Cuccinelli — the last of whom already reappeared for questioning on Tuesday after appeals judges rejected challenges to the testimony. A report from CNN claimed Trump wouldn’t be going to the Supreme Court in that dispute, meaning it could also be roughly at its end.

Devin O’Malley, a spokesperson for Pence, took Boasberg’s decision as a win, since he still allowed for (more limited) objections to questions Pence may face. “In the Court’s decision, that principle prevailed,” O’Malley said, according to POLITICO. “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.” There is a possibility of criminal charges in this investigation, although talk of those possible charges’ potential contents would be mere speculation. Although it’s outside Smith’s work, it has long been legally established that the Capitol riot itself at least partly reflected seditious behavior, considering pleas to that effect from members of right-wing extremist groups. Trump, oddly, has seemingly fixated on whether “Jack Smith” is even the prosecutor’s real name. (His given name is John, but otherwise… yeah, it’s real.)