Former Vice President Mike Pence will not appeal a federal judge’s order that he testify in special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
Pence’s decision comes a week after D.C. Chief Judge James Boasberg shut down Trump’s argument that Pence shouldn’t have to testify on the grounds of executive privilege, emphasizing the former vice president is not immune from testifying on alleged illegal actions by Trump. Trump’s team could still appeal that decision.
In a separate ruling on arguments brought by Pence’s team, Judge Boasberg did grant Pence a partial victory, agreeing with his lawyer’s argument that the Constitution’s Speech or Debate clause gives the former vice president some limited protections. In his ruling, Boasberg’s agreed that Pence can decline to answer questions related to his legislative actions on Jan. 6, as he was acting as the president of the Senate while he presided over the certification of the election results. He ordered that Pence must testify about relevant conversations with Trump leading up to the insurrection.
“Vice President Mike Pence swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution, and his claim that the Biden Special Counsel’s unprecedented subpoena was unconstitutional under the Speech or Debate Clause was an important one made to preserve the Separation of Powers outlined by our Founders,” Pence adviser Devin O’Malley said in a statement to media Wednesday. “In the Court’s decision, that principle prevailed. The Court’s landmark and historic ruling affirmed for the first time in history that the Speech or Debate Clause extends to the Vice President of the United States. 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.”
Following last week’s decision, Pence hinted during a visit to Iowa that he may stop fighting the subpoena, saying, “I have nothing to hide. I have written and spoken extensively about that day. At the end of the day, we’ll obey the law.”
Pence has already published a memoir and spoken publicly about several of his significant interactions with Trump in the days leading up to Jan. 6.
As of now, it is unclear when Pence will appear before the grand jury in Washington.