A federal judge for the D.C. district court ruled that former Vice President Mike Pence must comply with a grand jury subpoena and testify in special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election, according to multiple news outlets.
D.C. Chief Judge James Boasberg’s ruling — that remains under seal — shut down Trump’s argument that Pence shouldn’t have to testify in front of the grand jury on the grounds of executive privilege.
But he also granted Pence a partial victory, agreeing with his lawyer’s argument that the Constitution’s Speech or Debate clause does give the former vice president some limited protections.
Pence’s legal team have been arguing that the clause should make the former vice president exempt from providing records and testifying about communications or activity related to his role as president of the Senate because it is a legislative duty — including presiding over the certification of the election results on Jan. 6.
Boasberg’s ruling agreed that Pence can decline to answer questions related to his legislative actions on Jan. 6 but emphasized he is not immune from testifying on alleged illegal actions by the former president, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Pence has previously vowed to take the case to the Supreme Court if necessary, calling the subpoena “unconstitutional and unprecedented.” The former vice president can appeal the decision but so far it is unclear how Pence and his legal team will proceed.