File photo showing former Vice President Mike Pence. EFE/EPA/JIM LO SCALZO

Ex-VP Mike Pence testifies to grand jury about Capitol attack

Washington, Apr 27 (EFE).- Former Vice President Mike Pence appeared before a grand jury in Washington DC for seven hours Thursday within the framework of the investigation opened into the assault on the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol by supporters of then-President Donald Trump.

The grand jury began hearing Pence’s testimony shortly after 9 am, CNN reported, noting that the proceedings were conducted behind closed doors.

The appearance of Trump’s vice president came a day after the Washington district court of appeals ruled that the ex-president could not block Pence’s testimony.

Trump had tried to prevent Pence from testifying, claiming that the events of that day are covered by “executive privilege,” the right of US presidents to hold confidential communications with anyone they choose and to keep those discussions private.

On Jan. 6, 2021, some 10,000 people – most of them Trump supporters and after listening to an angry speech by him – marched on the US Capitol and some 800 of them broke into the building while the full Congress was certifying Joe Biden’s presidential election victory the previous November.

Five people died as a result of the events of that day and about 140 security officers – Capitol Police and others – were injured in the rioting and other mayhem.

Initially, it was Pence himself who appealed the decision of the grand jury to require his testimony on the Capitol assault, but he agreed to appear once a Washington judge ruled that Trump’s potential illegal acts on that day are not protected under the executive privilege doctrine.

The Washington Post and other media outlets have reported that the former VP can provide information concerning the conversations he had with Trump and his advisors on the day of the attack and about the suggestion of Trump’s lawyer, John Eastman, that Pence could block confirmation of Biden’s victory.

The investigation into the Capitol assault is seeking to determine if one or more people – for instance, Trump himself and/or his advisors or other members of his administration or lawmakers – interfered with the transfer of power and the process of ratifying Biden’s presidential victory.

EFE –/bp