Trump asks court to block Pence’s grand jury testimony in probe of 2020 election interference
Donald Trump has sought to block Mike Pence from testifying before a grand jury as part of a criminal investigation into 2020 election interference, according to a report.
Mr Trump submitted a secret court filing asserting executive privilege over conversations with his former vice president about efforts to overturn his defeat in the presidential election, CNN reported, citing confidential sources.
The Justice Department is trying to compel Mr Pence to provide evidence to the grand jury, after he indicated he would fight a subpoena issued by special counsel Jack Smith.
The criminal probe is investigating the events on and leading up to January 6th, when a pro-Trump mob stormed the US Capital in an attempt to prevent Joe Biden’s election victory from being certified.
Mr Pence was placed under enormous pressure by Mr Trump and his allies to delay certifying the results, leading to the crowd of riled-up January 6 rioters chanting “hang Mike Pence”.
Previously, Mr Pence claimed that he cannot be forced to provide testimony because he was acting in his role as president of the Senate that day, which he argues would grant him immunity.
Mr Smith, the special counsel, is locked in at least eight secret court battles as he tries to unearth evidence related to Mr Trump’s efforts to overturn the election results and his handling of classified material.
He has also issued subpoenas for Mr Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner, and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.