Crime & Justice

Pence will not appeal ruling to appear to testify re Capitol assault

Washington, Apr 5 (EFE).- Former US Vice President Mike Pence will not appear a judge’s ruling obligating him to testify before the grand jury investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the US Capitol, meaning that probably he will have to provide testimony on the efforts of ex-President Donald Trump to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, which the former president lost to Joe Biden.

“Vice President Pence will not appeal the Judge’s ruling and will comply with the subpoena as required by law,” Devin O’Malley, a spokesman for the former vice president, said Wednesday in a statement.

A federal judge ruled last week that Pence – who served as Trump’s VP from 2017-2021 – would have to provide testimony regarding what he knows of Trump’s efforts to nullify the results of the 2020 vote, although the magistrate said that the ex-vice president will not be obligated to testify about his role in Congress presiding over the certification of the election results confirming Biden’s win.

Special counsel Jack Smith early this year subpoenaed Pence to testify as part of his investigation into Trump’s conduct surrounding the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, widely viewed as one of the darkest days in US history, when the GOP president incited a mob of thousands of his supporters to march on the Capitol and violently invade it, evidently to deter the hundreds of lawmakers who were assembled there to certify the election results from doing so.

The violence, which resulted in five deaths and about 140 security officers injured by the enraged mob, led to Pence and Trump distancing themselves from one another after the ex-president urged the VP to prevent the certification of the Electoral College results whereby Biden had won the presidency the previous November.

Pence and his team had argued that, in his capacity as president of the US Senate on Jan. 6, he was a member of the legislative branch on the day of the disturbances and, thus, he was protected from being subpoenaed under the “speech and debate” clause of the US Constitution. However, his team ultimately decided that he will not appeal the judge’s ruling that he must appear to testify.

During a public event last week, Pence emphasized that by refusing to follow Trump’s order to halt the certification on Jan. 6, 2021, he fulfilled his “duty” to safeguard the US Constitution.

In addition, he issued a call to his Republican colleagues not to “worry” about judicial investigations such as the Tuesday indictment of Trump, the first ex-US president to face criminal charges after a grand jury found that there is probable cause that he committed crimes in paying so-called hush money to porn actress Stormy Daniels days before the 2016 election in exchange for her silence about an alleged affair they had had 10 years before.

Pence touted himself as a “common sense leader” with an eye toward the 2024 presidential election – for which Trump has already declared himself to be a candidate – although the ex-VP still has not officially thrown his hat into the ring for the GOP presidential nomination.

EFE –/bp

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