US Department of Justice prosecutors sought representatives of former Vice President Mike Pence to obtain his testimony in the criminal investigation into efforts by former President Donald Trump, and allies, to prevent the transfer of power after the 2020 election, according to people familiar with the matter.
Pence’s team indicated that the former vice president is open to discussing a possible deal with the Justice Department to provide some testimony, a source said.
The New York Times first reported the contact with Pence.
The request came before the Justice Department appointed a special counsel to oversee two Trump-related investigations, including the investigation related to the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, and another into the alleged mishandling of classified materials found there. at Trump’s home and resort in Palm Beach, Florida.
It’s unclear how the appointment of Special Counsel Jack Smith will affect discussions between the Justice Department and Pence’s team.
The Justice Department declined to comment to the CNN as well as a representative of Pence.
Pence recently published a memoir that described some of his interactions with Trump as the former president sought to overturn the 2020 election results. of criminal investigation.
Pence rejected a request for an interview from the House select committee investigating Jan. 6, but allowed top aides to testify in the House investigation as well as the Justice Department’s criminal investigation.
THE CNN previously reported that the Justice Department successfully obtained responses from top Pence advisers, Greg Jacob and Marc Short, in significant court victories that could make it likely that the criminal probe will reach further into Trump’s inner circle.
Among a large group of former top Trump officials, Jacob has been one of the strongest voices condemning the then-president’s actions after the election, especially regarding the pressure he and his election attorney, John Eastman, tried to put on Pence. to block the certification of the presidential vote by Congress.
In his memoirs, the former vice president wrote that Trump had warned him days before the January 6 attack on the US Capitol that he would inspire the hatred of hundreds of thousands of people because he was “too honest” to try to overturn the results. of the 2020 elections.
Saying Trump was “reckless” with his tweet attacking his vice president that day, Pence blasted the former president over the events surrounding the attack. He told Trump shortly afterwards, he wrote, that he was angry and that what he saw that day infuriated him.
Still, Pence said earlier this month that Congress is “not entitled” to his testimony and that he was “closing the door” by providing it to the House select committee — prompting swift criticism from the committee’s two top members.
“The Select Committee proceeded respectfully and responsibly in our engagement with Vice President Pence, so it is disappointing that he is misrepresenting the nature of our investigation by giving interviews to promote his new book,” said representatives Bennie Thompson and Liz Cheney. , who served as chairman and vice chairman of the panel, in a joint statement at the time.
Source: CNN Brasil
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