Former President Donald Trump has filed a motion in a federal court to prevent former Vice President Mike Pence from testifying before a grand jury in a criminal investigation into efforts to overturn the 2020 election. This motion comes after the Trump team had already indicated to Special Counsel Jack Smith that the former president intended to assert executive privilege over Pence's testimony. The Justice Department had previously asked a judge to compel the former Vice President's appearance before the grand jury.
The subpoena issued to Pence seeks documents and testimony related to the events of January 6th, 2021, when the US Capitol was attacked by pro-Trump rioters. Pence was facing immense pressure from President Trump and his allies to disrupt Congress' plans to certify the 2020 election results and, as President of the Senate, was tasked with presiding over the certification proceedings. Ultimately, Pence declined to intervene and has since announced his plans to fight the subpoena. He claims that, as President of the Senate, he is shielded by the Constitution's Speech or Debate Clause, which protects lawmakers from certain law enforcement actions targeted at their legislative conduct.
The outcome of the dispute is yet to be determined, and it remains unclear how long it will take for the sealed proceedings to unfold. It is possible the matter will be resolved at the district court level, or that it will be appealed to a federal appeals court, and possibly even the US Supreme Court. Meanwhile, Special Counsel Smith has accelerated the probe's pace since taking over the DOJ investigation.