Mike Pence has until Jan. 6, 2021 to testify about conversations he had with Donald Trump, judges rule

(CNN) A federal judge has ruled that former Vice President Mike Pence will have until January 6, 2021 to testify before a grand jury about conversations he had with Donald Trump, according to multiple sources familiar with the recent federal court ruling.

But the judge said — in a ruling that remains under seal — that Pence could refuse to answer questions about his actions on Jan. 6, when he served as the Senate’s chairman for certification for the 2020 presidential election. According to one of the sources.

Pence still has the ability to appeal. Trump has repeatedly lost executive privilege assertions he has tried to make in the special counsel’s investigation.

It’s another win for special counsel Jack Smith, who is investigating a Trump-aligned effort to subvert the 2020 election. Smith appeared before Pence for testimony and documents earlier this year.

Days after news of the subpoena broke, Pence and his advisers indicated that the former vice president would challenge the subpoena under the Constitution’s Speech or Debate Clause, which shields lawmakers from their law enforcement actions.

“I am going to fight the Biden DOJ subpoena to appear before the grand jury because I believe it is unconstitutional and unprecedented,” Pence said at an event in February. Because he also served as Senate president during the Jan. 6 confirmation vote — he has suggested that the constitutional provision covers the conduct of investigators.

The challenge played out in secret in court before Judge James Bosberg, who recently became chief judge of DC’s federal district court.

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Pence’s claims, as he described them publicly, are viewed as novel. His arguments drew criticism from a wide range of legal scholars, including former Justice Michael Luttig, a conservative legal expert who advised Pence on how to approach the 2021 certification vote.

Although Pence has fought the subpoena, he has refused to tamper with President Joe Biden’s congressional certification of victory, which Trump called on him to do.

This story is breaking and will be updated.

CNN’s Tierney Sneed contributed to this report.

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