Special counsel investigating Trump asks judge to compel Mike Pence to testify

Donald Trump's legal team has challenged the subpoena issued to Pence.

February 24, 2023, 12:58 PM

Special counsel Jack Smith has asked a federal judge to compel the testimony of former Vice President Mike Pence before a federal grand jury investigating the Jan. 6 riot, sources familiar with the matter told ABC News.

The motion to compel was filed in D.C. District Court on Friday and comes after former President Donald Trump's legal team challenged the subpoena issued to Pence on the grounds of executive privilege, the sources said. Chief Judge Beryl Howell has been overseeing all matters related to the grand jury.

The move to compel Pence to testify is not surprising given that Trump's team is intervening in the matter.

The subpoena, which was first reported by ABC News, requested documents and testimony related to the failed attempt by Trump and his allies to overturn the 2020 election and followed months of negotiations between federal prosecutors and Pence's legal team.

Howell will likely ask both parties to file formal motions over the government's request, which could stretch on for weeks until she makes a decision. It's expected that both sides will appeal regardless of how Howell rules.

Pence himself has said publicly that he would challenge the subpoena.

Smith was appointed in November to oversee the investigation into Trump's potential mishandling of classified documents after leaving the presidency and obstructing the government's efforts to retrieve them, as well as efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn the election results.