Trump's attempt to prevent Pence from testifying is denied by an appeals court
Trump's attempt to prevent Pence from testifying is denied by an appeals court

Washington: Former Vice President Mike Pence will soon testify before a grand jury looking into attempts to tamper with the results of the 2020 presidential election after a federal appeals court on Wednesday night rejected a request by attorneys for former President Donald Trump to block the testimony.

It was unclear right away on what day Pence might testify before the grand jury, which has been looking into the events leading up to the US Capitol uprising on January 6, 2021, as well as attempts by Trump and his allies to rig the election, for months.

However, Pence's testimony would be a turning point in the investigation as he approaches entering the 2024 presidential race and would likely provide prosecutors with an important first-person account as they move forward with their case.

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None of the parties are identified by name in the online court records, and the order from the three-judge panel of the US Circuit Court of Appeals was sealed. However, the appeal in the sealed case was only made a few days after a lower court judge had ordered Pence to testify despite the Trump campaign's objections.

A spokesperson for the Justice Department special counsel overseeing the investigation and a lawyer for Vice President Mike Pence did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment.

Pence was summoned to testify earlier this year, but Trump's attorneys objected on the grounds of executive privilege. In March, a judge declined to prevent Trump from appearing, but he did agree with the former vice president's constitutional arguments that he could not be compelled to respond to inquiries about anything associated with his function as the Senate's chief observer of the certification of votes on January 6.

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In an interview with CBS News's "Face the Nation" that aired on Sunday, Vice President Pence said, "We'll obey the law, and we'll tell the truth. And I'll tell that story in that setting just as I've been telling it to Americans all over the nation and as it is written in the pages of my memoir.

In his book "So Help Me God," Pence talks extensively about how Trump pressured him in the days before the election to reject Biden's victory. Despite Trump's claims to the contrary, Pence's role as vice president was ceremonial. He oversaw how the Electoral College votes were counted by Congress but had no influence on the outcome.

Trump put his family and everyone else present at the Capitol in danger, according to Pence, and history will hold him "accountable."

"We worked closely together for four years. Pence wrote, summarising their time in the White House, "It did not end well.

Jack Smith, the special counsel overseeing the investigation, has interviewed a wide range of former Trump aides and sought their testimony, including former White House counsel Pat Cipollone and former adviser Stephen Miller.

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Separately, Smith is looking into whether Trump tried to obstruct the investigation into his possible handling of hundreds of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

When either of the special counsel's investigations will be finished, or if anyone will be charged, is unknown.

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