Former Vice President Mike Pence has been ordered to testify before a grand jury about his conversations with Donald Trump in the lead-up to the January 6, 2021 insurrection, according to sources familiar with a recent federal court ruling. However, the ruling by Chief Judge James Boasberg of the US District Court in Washington, DC, allows Pence to decline to answer questions related to his actions on January 6 itself when he was serving as president of the Senate.
The decision is a significant win for Special Counsel Jack Smith, who is leading the Justice Department investigation. However, Pence still has the option to appeal the ruling. The former vice president said that his team is “evaluating the court’s decision” and will have more to say about the matter in the days ahead.
Pence faced immense pressure from Trump and his allies leading up to the congressional certification vote to overturn Joe Biden’s win. As president of the Senate, Pence presided over the certification proceedings. Trump’s conversations with Pence during this time are of interest to investigators probing the attack on the Capitol, which saw many of Trump’s supporters violently storm the building in an attempt to overturn the election results.
Although Pence did not speak to Trump during the attack, he narrowly escaped the mob that had stormed the Capitol and headed to the Senate floor. Pence had declined to testify before the House January 6 committee investigating the insurrection, but people in Trump’s orbit told the committee about a heated phone call Trump had with Pence on the day of the attack, in which he insulted his vice president.
The ruling could have significant implications for the ongoing investigation into the events of January 6, and it remains to be seen whether Pence will comply with the order to testify or appeal the decision.