In a significant development, ex-Vice President Mike Pence has provided testimony for a criminal investigation examining alleged attempts by Donald Trump to reverse the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Pence testified before a grand jury for over 7 hours.
Pence (63) reportedly testified for over seven hours before a federal grand jury in Washington DC, according to sources who spoke with CBS News.
Pence was subpoenaed to testify under oath earlier this year.
Pence’s appearance followed the failure of an appeals court to prevent his testimony, as requested by Trump’s legal representatives.
Pence’s attorneys attempted to contest the subpoena.
Pence’s attorneys also unsuccessfully attempted to contest the subpoena, asserting that his position as Senate president during his term granted him congressional immunity.
His long-awaited testimony is a critical turning point in the two-year investigation led by special counsel Jack Smith, a former war crimes prosecutor.
Smith’s team investigating if Trump violated federal law.
Appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland, Smith’s team is gathering evidence to determine if Trump and his associates violated federal law by contesting the 2020 election results.
Furthermore, the 2021 Capitol Riot is part of the broader investigation, when Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building to halt the certification of election results.
Pence could have intervened in 2020 election result certification.
As vice president and Senate president, Pence theoretically could have disrupted the final certification of election results and postponed the transfer of power.
Trump publicly called on Pence to do so, and his refusal prompted Trump’s criticism.
Supporters of Trump then chanted “hang Mike Pence” as they invaded Congress, while Pence and other politicians sought shelter within the Capitol.
Pence is regarded as a vital witness in the investigation. Although what he told the grand jury remains unknown, prosecutors likely questioned him about his communications with Trump and his team leading up to the riot.
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Pence promised to ‘tell the truth’
“We’ll obey the law, we’ll tell the truth,” Pence stated during a CBS interview, promising to recount the same story he has been sharing with the American public.
Pence has spoken openly about the Capitol riot and the pressure he faced to challenge the election results. “President Trump is wrong. I had no right to overturn the election,” he declared in a February speech.
Pence said history will hold Trump ‘accountable’
In his memoir, “So Help Me God,” Pence claimed that Trump attempted to pressure him into obstructing the election certification on the riot’s morning.
Trump reportedly told him, “You’ll go down as a wimp.” Pence also accused Trump of endangering his family and others at the Capitol, stating that history will hold him “accountable.”
Pence is said to be contemplating a 2024 presidential run, which would pit him against his former boss for the Republican nomination.
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Trump facing multiple criminal investigations
Trump, who has already initiated his campaign to return to the White House, was in New Hampshire for a campaign event on Thursday.
When questioned by NBC News about Pence’s testimony, he responded, “I don’t know what he said, but I have a lot of confidence in him.”
In addition to the current investigation, Trump faces other legal challenges, including another federal inquiry by Smith concerning the possible mishandling of classified documents.
Furthermore, a separate investigation is underway in Georgia to examine alleged efforts to reverse the 2020 election results.
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