Trump loses bid to stop Mike Pence from testifying in front of Jan 6 grand jury

Federal appeals court moves former vice president closer to appearing before grand jury

Namita Singh
Thursday 27 April 2023 06:35 BST
Related: Mike Pence admits he was ‘angered’ by Trump’s Jan 6 tweet

Former US president Donald Trump has lost an appeal to block former vice president Mike Pence from testifying in the special counsel investigation into efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, reports said.

It was not immediately clear what day Mr Pence might appear before the grand jury, which for months has been investigating the events preceding the 6 January 2021, insurrection at the US Capitol, and efforts by Mr Trump and his allies to subvert the election outcome.

Mr Pence‘s testimony, coming as he inches toward a likely entrance in the 2024 presidential race, would be a milestone moment in the investigation and would likely give prosecutors a key first-person account as they pressed forward with their inquiry.

The unanimous decision from judges Patricia Millett, Robert Wilkins, and Greg Katsas on the DC circuit Court of Appeals, came in a sealed case on Wednesday night, CNN reported.

The appeal in the sealed case was filed just days after a lower-court judge directed the former vice president to testify over objections from the Trump team.

A representative for Mr Pence had no comment. A spokesperson for Mr Trump did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment, reported the news agency.

A spokesperson for the Justice Department special counsel leading the probe declined to comment as well.

It was not clear if lawyers for Mr Trump might ask the entire appeals court to hear the matter. Mr Pence was subpoenaed to testify earlier this year but Mr Trump’s lawyers objected, citing executive privilege concerns.

A judge in March refused to block Mr Trump’s appearance, though he did side with the former vice president’s constitutional claims that he could not be forced to answer questions about anything related to his role as presiding over the Senate’s certification of votes on January 6.

A spokesperson for Mr Pence subsequently said that the former vice president would not appeal and that his arguments about the constitution’s speech or debate clause, which is intended to protect members of Congress from being questioned about official legislative acts, had been vindicated.

“We’ll obey the law, we’ll tell the truth,” Mr Pence said in an interview with CBS News’s “Face the Nation” that aired on Sunday. “And the story that I’ve been telling the American people all across the country, the story that I wrote in the pages of my memoir, that’ll be the story I tell in that setting.”

Additional reporting from the wires

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in