Donald Trump appealed a judge’s order requiring former Vice President Mike Pence to testify to the grand jury probing the effort to subvert the 2020 election. Trump had challenged the bid by special counsel Jack Smith to compel Pence’s testimony earlier this year, claiming it would intrude on conversations protected by executive privilege, Politico reports. Chief U.S. District Court Judge James Boasberg rejected Trump’s challenge. Boasberg did agree with a separate argument by Pence that some of his actions are protected by the Constitution’s “speech or debate” clause, which prevents Justice Department inquiry into members of Congress and their aides. Under the Constitution, Pence as vice president also served as president of the Senate, entitling him to some measure of congressional immunity, Boasberg said. Although Pence and his allies felt that the ruling didn’t extend far enough, Pence opted not to appeal the decision. Trump’s executive privilege challenges to DOJ subpoenas have not fared well in secret court proceedings that have played out in recent months. He lost requests to former Chief Judge Beryl Howell, to prevent Pence’s aides from testifying, and he lost a similar bid to prevent his own top White House advisers from appearing for compelled testimony. Trump spokesman Steven Cheung complained that DOJ "is continuously stepping far outside the standard norms in attempting to destroy the long accepted, long held, Constitutionally based standards of attorney-client privilege and executive privilege."
top of page
bottom of page