A federal judge made a ruling compelling former Vice President Mike Pence to go before a grand jury and testify about his conversations with former President Donald Trump leading up to the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol.
According to sources familiar with the ruling, the judge said the former VP could still refuse to answer queries about his actions on January 6.
At the time, Pence was presiding over the Congressional joint session tasked with counting the electoral votes in the 2020 presidential election and certification of the winner.
The ruling was made by Chief Judge James Boasberg of Washington, DC’s district court.
The ruling adds to the dozens of wins for Special Council Jack Smith which saw the court force several key witnesses to testify in front of the grand jury.
In an interview on Tuesday, Pence said that his legal team was still evaluating the court’s decision and the requirements of his testimony, adding that he would speak on the subject in the days ahead.
Pence reportedly faced increased pressure from Trump and his allies in the days leading up to the congressional certification vote to disrupt Congress’ plans on certifying Biden’s win.
Investigators probing the January 6 insurrection have been keen on discovering what Trump and Pence talked about in the days before the insurrection.
Although the former VP refused to testify before the January 6 House committee, people close to Trump told the committee that Trump had a heated phone conversation with Pence on the day of the Capitol attack and even hurled insults at him.
On the day of the riots, Pence narrowly escaped the mob, and according to a former Trump aide, the former US president called Pence a “wimp.”
Many of Pence’s public comments about his and Trump’s conversations surrounding the insurrection came in a memoir he published in 2022.
In the book, Pence wrote that he tried to convince Trump to heed advice given by the White House counsel team instead of outside lawyers, but Trump would not listen.
Special Counsel Smith is investigating Trump’s efforts to overthrow the 2020 election.