Latest Setback for Trump's Legal Team
A federal judge in Washington has ruled that former Vice President Mike Pence must testify before a grand jury investigating former President Donald J. Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election. The decision is the most recent setback for Trump's legal team, which has been attempting to limit testimony in grand juries probing various matters related to the former president.
Judge Dismisses Pence and Trump's Legal Efforts
Judge James E. Boasberg's rulings on Monday dismissed two separate legal attempts by Pence and Trump to restrict Pence's testimony. Both efforts aimed to narrow the scope of questions that prosecutors could ask witnesses close to Trump in two grand jury investigations.
Trump Lawyers Seek Executive Privilege Protection
Earlier this month, Trump's lawyers requested that the court's former chief judge, Beryl A. Howell, limit Pence's testimony by claiming executive privilege. This legal doctrine is designed to protect communications between the president and select members of their administration.
Pence's Team Argues for "Speech or Debate" Clause Protection
Simultaneously, Pence's lawyers sought to limit his testimony by arguing that his role as president of the Senate granted him protection from legal scrutiny by the executive branch, including the Justice Department. They cited the Constitution's "speech or debate" clause, intended to preserve the separation of powers.