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Former Vice President Pence Testifies to Federal Grand Jury Investigating Donald Trump and January 6

Written by on April 27, 2023

Former Vice President Mike Pence testified on Thursday to a federal grand jury investigating the aftermath of the 2020 election and the actions of then-President Donald Trump and others. This marks a significant moment in the criminal investigation and is the first time in modern history that a vice president has been compelled to testify about the president he served beside.

Pence’s testimony focused on his direct conversations with Trump leading up to January 6, 2021. Trump repeatedly pressured him unsuccessfully to block the 2020 election’s result, including on the morning of January 6. Pence’s testimony is expected to elicit a strong negative reaction from his former boss, as Pence is exploring a possible challenge to Trump for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.

Pence had previously avoided speaking under oath as part of any investigation, but the grand jury’s subpoena compelled him to testify. The grand jury in Washington, DC, whose proceedings are secret, assembled just before 9 a.m. ET on Thursday. The case has put Pence in a unique position to define the powers of his former office, and the court had even given him the ability to keep out of criminal proceedings his actions while he served as the presiding officer of the Senate on January 6.

Trump’s conversations with Pence and about Pence in the days before the US Capitol riot have been of keen interest to investigators probing the attack. Though Pence declined to testify before the House January 6 committee that investigated the insurrection, people in Trump’s orbit told the committee about a heated phone call he had with Pence the day of the attack. Pence and Trump did not speak during the attack on the Capitol itself, in which many of Trump’s supporters angrily sought him out, and Pence narrowly escaped the mob heading to the Senate floor.

The grand jury investigation around Trump’s efforts to block the election result has long sought to question Pence under oath given his proximity to Trump at the White House. Both Pence and Trump went to court to hold off his unprecedented subpoena, but trial and appellate judges ordered Pence to testify about his direct conversations with the then-President. The latest decision from the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, which refused to give Trump emergency help, came Wednesday night. Pence’s testimony before the grand jury marks a critical moment in the investigation of the events of January 6, 2021, and sheds light on the dynamics between Pence and Trump in the aftermath of the 2020 election. The investigation continues to be a significant political issue, with implications for both parties and the future of American democracy.


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