Judge rejects Trump's privilege claims over Pence testimony in Jan. 6 probe
Pence Ordered to Testify before Jan. 6 Grand Jury
A federal judge has ruled that former Vice President Mike Pence must appear in front of a grand jury investigating former President Donald J. Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election. The ruling, handed down Monday by Judge James E. Boasberg in Federal District Court in Washington, has swept aside two separate legal efforts made by Mr. Pence and Mr. Trump to limit his testimony.
The order comes at a time when Mr. Trump’s legal team is hoping to limit the scope of the questions asked of witnesses close to the former president in two grand jury investigations. They had submitted requests to Judge Boasberg’s predecessor, Beryl A. Howell, to limit Mr. Pence’s testimony, claiming that certain issues should be off limits due to executive privilege, which protects communications between the president and some members of his administration.
At the same time, Mr. Pence’s lawyers argued that his role as president of the Senate meant he was protected from legal scrutiny by the executive branch under the Constitution’s “speech or debate” clause. This provision is intended to protect the separation of powers.
Judge Rejects Both Claims
However, Judge Boasberg rejected both claims, ruling that Mr. Pence must appear to testify in front of the grand jury. His order is the latest in a string of setbacks made to efforts by Mr. Trump’s legal team to limit testimony to grand juries investigating him on various matters.
The ruling has made it clear that no one is exempt from the investigations, and that regardless of one’s position and level of power, all must comply with the justice system’s requirements. This has been a long-standing principle of the United States, as every citizen is equal before the law, and no one is exempt from its operations.
Pence to Follow in Footsteps of Other Witnesses
Mr. Pence will now follow in the footsteps of other witnesses who have been called on to testify, such as former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, former Attorney General William Barr, and former Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen. It is expected that the former Vice President will appear in court in the coming weeks.
Overall, the ruling in Washington marks the latest development in the ongoing investigation surrounding former President Donald J. Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election. Although Mr. Trump’s legal team had made efforts to limit the scope of the testimonies in front of the grand jury, the judge’s ruling shows that any attempts to do so will not be accepted.
As such, former Vice President Mike Pence will have to appear in court and testify in front of the grand jury investigating Mr. Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election. This marks a significant juncture in the ongoing investigation, as all witnesses, regardless of rank and power, are subject to the same standards of justice.