Former Vice President Mike Pence testified before a federal grand jury investigating former President Donald Trump and his efforts to overturn his 2020 presidential election loss in favor of Joe Biden, The independent he confirmed.
Mr. Pence spent about seven hours testifying before grand juries and answering questions from prosecutors led by Jack Smith, the US Department of Justice special counsel leading the investigation into Mr. Trump’s push to stay in office against the voters’ will and on the twice-accused former – the president’s alleged illegal retention of national defense information.
Pence’s appearance before a grand jury in Washington DC comes less than 24 hours after a federal appeals court rejected a last-ditch appeal to block his testimony by Trump’s legal team.
A federal judge had previously denied Trump’s attempt to use executive privilege, a legal doctrine that protects communications between and between a president and his advisers, to protect Mr. Pence from testifying about conversations he had with the then president in the previous days to January 6, 2021, when Mr. Pence was supposed to preside over the joint session of Congress in which their defeat against Biden and Kamala Harris would be made official and final.
The judge granted Mr. Pence’s request to allow him to refrain from testifying about any action taken in his role as President of the Senate, on the grounds that the “speech or debate” clause of the United States Constitution prevents him from having to testify about the his serves as president of half of the legislative branch.
His testimony comes as the former president faces growing scrutiny from federal prosecutors and the Special Counsel’s investigation into the events surrounding January 6 and Trump’s attempts to overturn a Democratic election, as well as an investigation report on Trump’s handling of confidential documents during his March-a-Lago in Florida.
Mr. Smith, who was appointed to lead the investigation into Mr. Trump after the former president declared his candidacy in the 2024 presidential election, also forced testimony from several former Trump administration officials, as well as current and former advisers to Mr. Trump.
Earlier this month, the grand jury heard evidence from Stephen Miller, who was a senior aide and speechwriter for Trump during his presidency.
The Grand Jurors also heard testimony from Mr Pence’s top aides, including his chief of staff Marc Short and his solicitor, Greg Jacob.
Both Mr. Short and Mr. Jacob also testified before the House Select Committee on January 6 of last year, and vividly described how Mr. Trump tried to pressure Mr. Pence into hijacking electoral vote counting. with the aim of keeping them at the top of the executive branch despite having lost the election.
The former president is the subject of numerous criminal and civil investigations in different jurisdictions. He was criminally charged in New York for allegedly forging company documents in connection with undisclosed cash payments to an adult film star ahead of the 2016 election, and prosecutors in Georgia are considering the charges in connection with his attempts to make pressure on election officials in the state to overturn election results after losing to Biden.