Pence must testify in Jan. 6 attack probe, judge rules -source
Adds comments from Pence
WASHINGTON, March 28 (Reuters) -A federal judge has ruled that former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence must testify to a grand jury about conversations he had with former President Donald Trump leading up to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, a source familiar with the ruling said on Tuesday.
In a ruling that remains under seal, the judge also said that Pence can still decline to answer questions related to Jan. 6, the source said, adding that Pence can still appeal the ruling. The appeal option is being evaluated, the source said.
The source, confirming reports by CNN and NBC, said the judge's decision compels Trump's former vice president, and potential challenger for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, to appear before the federal grand jury but shields him from testifying about Jan. 6, 2021, itself.
Asked during an interview on Newsmax on Tuesday as to whether he would appeal the order, Pence said there was a limited amount he could say on the proceedings.
"I'm pleased that the court accepted our argument and recognized that the Constitution's provision about speech and debate does apply to the vice president," he said.
"But the way they sorted that out and the requirements of my testimony going forward are a subject of our review right now and I'll have more to say about that in the days ahead."
In February, a source told Reuters Pence was preparing to resist a grand jury subpoena to secure his testimony.
Ahead of the Jan. 6 events, Trump had repeatedly lambasted Pence, publicly and privately, for refusing to try to prevent Congress from certifying Biden’s win in the 2020 election, sources told Reuters at the time.
Representatives for Special Prosecutor Jack Smith, who is leading the U.S. Department of Justice's investigation into Trump and his allies' alleged efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss, could not be immediately reached for comment.
Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch, Steve Holland, Kanishka Singh and Susan Heavey in Washington, and Costas Pitas in Los Angeles; Editing by Tomasz Janowski and Stephen Coates
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