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Pence must testify in Jan. 6 attack probe, judge rules -source

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U.S. former Vice President Mike Pence delivers remarks, in part addressing his opposition to a grand jury subpoena for testimony about efforts to overturn then-President Donald Trump’s 2020 reelection loss, to the Coolidge Presidential Foundation conference at the Library of Congress in Washington, U.S. February 16, 2023. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

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 January 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 to appear before the federal grand jury but shields him from testifying about Jan. 6, 2021, itself.

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.

Pence’s representatives decline to comment.

Pence, who is exploring a challenge to Trump for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, is fighting a grand jury subpoena to secure his testimony, sources have told Reuters.

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