Judges reject Trump appeal of order for Pence to testify in Jan. 6 probe


(WASHINGTON) — A federal appeals panel on Wednesday rejected an effort from former President Donald Trump to prevent former Vice President Mike Pence from testifying before the special counsel investigating Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

The order from a three-judge panel at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit — the details of which remain under seal — would clear the way for Pence to testify before special counsel Jack Smith should Trump’s legal team not seek any further appeal before the full Circuit or the Supreme Court.

Trump previously sought to assert executive privilege in an attempt to block Pence’s testimony, but late last month the chief judge for the D.C. district court, James Boasberg, rejected his team’s arguments and ordered Pence to testify and provide records to Smith.

Boasberg, however, did narrowly uphold parts of a separate legal challenge brought by Pence himself, who argued he should be shielded from having to testify on certain aspects related to his role as president of the Senate overseeing the certification of the 2020 election on Jan. 6, 2021.

Pence was subpoenaed by the special counsel in February, following months of negotiations between federal prosecutors and Pence’s legal team.

Pence said this month that he would not seek further appeal, though said he was unsure whether Trump’s team would continue their own fight to prevent his testimony and bring their executive privilege claims before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

In previous instances where Trump’s team has sought intervention from the D.C. Circuit, judges there acted swiftly to order legal briefs from his team and the special counsel before rejecting his legal challenges.

A spokesperson for the special counsel’s office declined to comment to ABC News.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.