NOW: Mike Pence and Donald Trump Hit With Bad News

( – A federal judge has told former Vice President Mike Pence that he must answer questions about his conversations with former President Donald Trump before the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.

Judge James Boasberg said in a private decision that Pence has to tell a grand jury about any of Trump’s possible illegal actions before his supporters attacked the Capitol building. However, the judge also said Pence could choose not to answer questions about what he did that day.

Before this, Trump tried to stop Pence from speaking to the grand jury, using the power of executive privilege. But, President Biden told special counsel Jack Smith that the White House would not use executive privilege to stop Pence from testifying.

White House special counsel Richard Sauber wrote a letter to Smith explaining that these events were a serious attack on the government and democracy. Therefore, using executive privilege would not be in the public’s best interest.

Pence’s lawyer had also asked for a legal exemption, saying that Pence’s testimony could break a part of the Constitution. This part, called the Speech or Debate Clause, protects members of Congress from legal problems related to their official work.

The events of Jan. 6 have caused problems between Trump and Pence. Pence has criticized Trump in recent interviews.

Pence told ABC’s Jonathan Karl, “There was no excuse for the violence that took place at the Capitol on Jan. 6, and I’ll never diminish it as long as I live.” He also said that Trump was wrong and that he hoped Trump would eventually see that his legal advisers led him in the wrong direction.

Some of the Trump supporters who attacked the Capitol were caught on video saying, “Hang Mike Pence,” while Pence oversaw the certification of the 2020 election results.

Pence, 63 years old, is expected to appeal the judge’s decision and will take the case to the Supreme Court if needed.

Special counsel Jack Smith asked Pence to testify last month.

Judge Boasberg became a federal judge in 2011 after being nominated by former President Barack Obama. He became the chief judge of the DC district court on March 17, taking over from Judge Beryl Howell. Before leaving her position, Howell made Trump’s former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, and some of his aides testify before the grand jury.

A representative for Pence did not immediately respond when asked for a comment.

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