Friday, May 17

Pence testifies earlier than election probe grand jury, hours after courtroom rejected Trump effort to dam

Former Vice President Mike Pence testified Thursday earlier than a federal grand jury investigating efforts by then-President Donald Trump and his allies to overturn the outcomes of the 2020 presidential election, in keeping with an individual conversant in the matter.

The particular person requested anonymity to debate the non-public look earlier than the grand jury.

Pence’s look earlier than a grand jury in Washington scrutinizing the president he as soon as loyally served is a milestone within the Justice Department’s investigation and sure offers prosecutors a key first-person account about sure conversations and occasions within the weeks previous the lethal Jan. 6, 2021, revolt on the U.S. Capitol. It additionally carries vital political implications, coming as Pence hints at getting into the 2024 presidential race and a possible run in opposition to Trump, the Republican front-runner.

The testimony got here hours after a federal appeals courtroom in a sealed order rejected a bid by Trump’s attorneys to dam Pence’s look.

Pence was subpoenaed to testify earlier this yr, however Trump’s attorneys objected, citing govt privilege considerations. A choose in March refused to dam Pence’s look, although he did aspect with the previous vp’s constitutional claims that he couldn’t be pressured to reply questions on something associated to his position as presiding over the Senate’s certification of votes on Jan. 6.

“We’ll obey the law, we’ll tell the truth,” Pence stated in an interview with CBS News’ “Face the Nation” that aired 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.”

Pence has spoken extensively about Trump’s strain marketing campaign urging him to reject Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential election victory within the days main as much as Jan. 6, together with in his guide, “So Help Me God.” Pence, as vp, had a ceremonial position overseeing Congress’ counting of the Electoral College vote however didn’t have the ability to have an effect on the outcomes, regardless of Trump’s rivalry in any other case.
Pence, a former Indiana governor and congressman, has stated that Trump endangered his household and everybody else who was on the Capitol that day and historical past will maintain him “accountable.”

“For four years, we had a close working relationship. It did not end well,” Pence wrote, summing up their time within the White House.

Lawyers for Pence had raised their very own, extra slender problem to the subpoena. They argued that as a result of Pence was serving in his capability as president of the Senate as electoral votes had been being counted in Congress on Jan. 6, he was shielded from being pressured to testify about that course of underneath the Constitution’s “speech or debate” clause, which is meant to guard members of Congress from being questioned about official legislative acts.

A choose agreed with that argument, successfully narrowing the scope of his anticipated testimony.

The Justice Department particular counsel main the investigation, Jack Smith, has solid a broad internet in interviews and has sought the testimony of a protracted listing of former Trump aides, together with ex-White House counsel Pat Cipollone and former adviser Stephen Miller.

Smith is individually investigating Trump over the potential mishandling of tons of of categorised paperwork at his Palm Beach, Florida property, Mar-a-Lago, in addition to potential efforts to impede that probe. On Wednesday, Trump’s attorneys in that investigation referred to as the Department of Justice investigation “severely botched” and “politically infected” and urged the House Intelligence Committee to step in by holding hearings and introducing laws to right categorised doc dealing with procedures within the White House and to standardize procedures for presidents and vice presidents for after they go away workplace.

“DOJ should be ordered to stand down, and the intelligence community should instead conduct an appropriate investigation and provide a full report to this Committee, as well as your counterparts in the Senate,” the attorneys wrote.

It is unclear when both of the particular counsel’s investigations will finish or who, if anybody, shall be charged.

Copyright © 2023 The Washington Times, LLC.

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