Former Vice President Mike Pence will forego appealing a federal court order that requires him to testify before a grand jury investigating the actions of former President Donald Trump in the weeks leading up to the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
“Vice President Pence will not appeal the Judge’s ruling and will comply with the subpoena as required by law,” spokesman Devin O’Malley said Wednesday in a statement to POLITICO.
Last month, Chief U.S. District Court Judge James Boasberg ruled the former vice president must comply with a grand jury subpoena issued by the investigation’s special counsel Jack Smith.
Pence initially challenged the subpoena, arguing his role as president of the Senate presented issues with his testimony due to the Constitution making his position “a hybrid creature of the executive and legislative branch,” POLITICO reported.
According to the “speech or debate” clause, Pence, under his role to certify the electoral votes of a presidential election, is given immunity from criminal prosecutions or civil suits that stem from acts taken within the legislative sphere and official responsibilities.
An attorney for Pence reportedly said the clause serves as a shield against having to testify about anything related to his role on January 6. However, U.S. News reported the judge’s ruling would still require Pence to answer questions about any illegal acts by Trump.
O’Malley asserted in the statement the principle prevailed in the court’s decision.
“In the Court’s decision, that principle prevailed,” O’Malley said. “The Court’s landmark and historic ruling affirmed for the first time in history that the Speech or Debate Clause extends to the Vice President of the United States.”
Trump has not said if he will appeal the ruling himself, although the former president’s team had argued his executive privilege blocks some presidential conversations from disclosure to the public.