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Former VP Mike Pence Testifies Before Grand Jury in Special Counsel Investigation into Trump’s Efforts to Overturn 2020 Election

Former Vice President Mike Pence appeared before a federal grand jury on Thursday as part of the ongoing special counsel investigation into former President Donald Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election.[0] Pence was subpoenaed by special counsel Jack Smith in February and challenged the subpoena along with Trump, but the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit rejected their efforts to block the subpoena.[1] Pence's testimony is considered potentially consequential as Trump pressured him to unlawfully reject electoral college votes for Joe Biden at the joint session of Congress. Pence refused to do so, and Trump subsequently lashed out at him on the morning of Jan. 6, which inflamed the crowd that later stormed the Capitol building.[2]

Pence testified for over seven hours before the grand jury, according to sources with knowledge of his testimony.[3] While he is precluded from testifying about any preparations for his role as presiding officer of the Senate, it remains unclear how illuminating his testimony might be for prosecutors.[4] Trump is under investigation by Smith for potential mishandling of documents containing classified markings.[5]

Other subpoenas from Smith have been sent to top county elections officials in key swing states for any and all communications involving Trump's campaign, and 19 aides and allies who allegedly played a role in Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election.[1] In March, a federal judge ruled that Trump's former chief of staff Mark Meadows and other aides, including Dan Scavino and Stephen Miller, must testify to the grand jury.[1]

Pence is considering running for the White House in 2024, which could potentially create a conflict with Trump. Trump has already announced his candidacy and is currently leading the national polls among GOP primary voters with a significant margin.[6] Pence has reiterated his belief that the Republican Party will have superior candidates to his former running mate, and he has indicated that he will announce his own intentions for the 2024 elections by June.[7] Pence has asserted that he has no secrets to conceal from investigators regarding the aftermath of the 2020 election.[7]

0. “Mike Pence testifies before grand jury investigating Trump's efforts to overturn 2020 election” CBS News, 27 Apr. 2023, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/pence-appears-before-grand-jury

1. “Appeals court rejects Trump’s effort to block Pence from testifying in Jan. 6 probe” CNBC, 27 Apr. 2023, https://www.cnbc.com/2023/04/27/appeals-court-rejects-trumps-effort-to-block-pence-from-testifying-in-jan-6-probe.html

2. “Pence appears before Jan. 6 grand jury – POLITICO” POLITICO, 27 Apr. 2023, https://www.politico.com/news/2023/04/27/pence-appears-before-jan-6-grand-jury-00094310

3. “Pence testifies before federal grand jury investigating Trump” The Independent, 27 Apr. 2023, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/pence-grand-jury-trump-special-counsel-b2328454.html

4. “Trump loses appeal to stop Pence from testifying in January 6 investigation” The Guardian US, 27 Apr. 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/apr/26/trump-appeal-pence-testimony-january-6-attack-investigation

5. “Ex-VP Mike Pence testifies in Jan. 6 probe in major breakthrough for Trump prosecutors” New York Daily News, 28 Apr. 2023, https://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/us-elections-government/ny-trump-pence-capitol-20230428-wxcgpdxwhba5bdhwu3x5fhy3vu-story.html

6. “Mike Pence testifies before grand jury probe into Trump's Jan. 6 role” Axios, 27 Apr. 2023, https://www.axios.com/2023/04/27/mike-pence-grand-jury-testimony-trump

7. “Pence testifies before grand jury investigating Jan. 6” The Hill, 27 Apr. 2023, https://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/3976286-pence-testifies-before-grand-jury-investigating-jan-6/