WASHINGTON – Former Vice President Mike Pence will not appeal a judge’s order for grand jury testimony as part of a special counsel’s investigation into Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election, a spokesperson said Wednesday.
Pence’s decision weighed heavily on the court’s decision last month to shield him from answering some questions under the Constitution’s speech-and-debate clause in his role as president of the Senate.
“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,” spokesman Devin O’Malley said.
Pence’s testimony about Jan. 6 riot could be damaging to Trump
Former President Donald Trump could still appeal the decision by invoking an executive privilege claim in an attempt to guard his conversations with Pence in the run-up to the Capitol attack in which he appealed for the vice president to help block the certification of President Joe Biden’s election.
Pence’s account of those conversations could be potentially damaging to his former boss.
Pence was key to Trump’s strategy to block Biden’s election.
The strategy mapped out by Trump lawyer John Eastman called for Pence, in his role as president of the Senate, to reject electors from seven contested states that Biden won. Pence could then either accept alternate electors who supported Trump or send the contest to the House, where a majority of state delegations supported Trump.
Pence refused to participate. He fled the Senate chamber ahead of a mob that erected a gallows outside the Capitol and chanted, “Hang Mike Pence.
Last month, Pence described the subpoena as “unprecedented” and “unconstitutional.”
“Let me be clear, I have nothing to hide. I have a Constitution to uphold,” Pence told Greta Van Susteren on Newsmax cable network at the time.
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Pence’s decision comes day after Trump was arrested in New York
The decision comes a day after Trump appeared in a Manhattan court in a separate criminal case, pleading not guilty to 34 felony counts, which stem from the alleged falsification of business records in disguising hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels in the final weeks of the 2016 campaign to silence her about an affair years before.
The prospect of testimony could pose political challenges for Pence.
As the former vice president considers a presidential campaign in 2024, Trump and allies still criticize him for not throwing out electoral votes on Jan. 6, 2021. Some anti-Trump Republicans, meanwhile, say he has exhibited too much fealty to Trump throughout their time together.
“He did his constitutional duty on January 6, when some would say it was not in his political interests,” Pence adviser Marc Short said Wednesday.
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