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Pence Must Testify On 2020 Election Issues, Judge Rules

A federal judge ruled that former Vice President Mike Pence must testify to a grand jury about conversations he had with former President Trump before Jan. 6, 2021, rejecting executive privilege claims by Trump, reports the Wall Street Journal. In a sealed ruling Tuesday, Judge James Boasberg said that while Pence isn’t immune from testifying about any illegal conduct by Trump, the former vice president can decline to answer some questions relating to his role as president of the Senate during the certification of President Biden's victory. Boasberg’s ruling can be appealed. Pence told reporters last month that he would challenge the subpoena for his testimony, issued by special counsel Jack Smith, “if needs be to the Supreme Court.”

The ruling is the latest win for the special counsel. Another federal judge found that Smith’s team presented enough evidence that Trump may have misled his own lawyers about his post-White House retention of classified documents to compel one of them, Evan Corcoran, to testify. Corcoran appeared before the grand jury Friday. Smith leads a Justice Department probe into the efforts of Trump and his allies to overturn his 2020 presidential election loss, as well as the inquiry into Trump’s handling of classified documents. Pence opposed the subpoena on the grounds that, as vice president, he served also as president of the Senate, a role that enables him to invoke a constitutional protection that generally shields members of Congress from being questioned about their legislative activities. Two Pence advisers, chief of staff Marc Short and legal counsel Greg Jacob, provided testimony in the Jan. 6 investigation under subpoena last year.

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