The U.S. Court of Appeals just denied Donald Trump’s last ditch attempt at keeping Mike Pence from testifying to Jack Smith’s DOJ grand jury. Trump could still appeal this to the Supreme Court, but it would buy him a week at most. This is basically over. Pence will testify against Trump very soon.
Pence has already agreed to testify. Trump’s appeal was the only holdup, and that’s over. As a reminder, Pence cannot plead the fifth to any of this, because he’s not considered to have been a criminal participant and has no criminal liability. Nor can Pence lie, because Jack Smith already knows the story. Nor can Pence just say “I don’t recall.” There are no magic wand tricks when it comes to this stuff, no matter how many viral tweets might claim otherwise.
And yes, there is essentially a 100% chance the Supreme Court will quickly shoot Trump down on this if he does file with them. We keep seeing that even this Supreme Court has no interest in sticking its neck out for him. It’s focused on its own evil agenda.
If Trump doesn’t file with the Supreme Court (last time he didn’t even bother), then Jack Smith and the DOJ will have Pence on the stand testifying to the grand jury as soon as possible. Likely within days.
As far as anyone on the outside knows, Pence was the only remaining witness who hadn’t yet been cleared by the appeals court to testify. We don’t know if everyone else cleared by the appeals court has since testified. But Pence was the only one who hadn’t been cleared.
Keep in mind that grand jury proceedings are all secret by default. When Pence testifies, he’ll likely be taken in through a basement or something. So unless someone involved gives the story to the media, there’s a good chance it’ll go unreported when Pence testifies.
So if you find yourself scratching your head a few weeks from now and saying “I thought Pence was supposed to testify,” there are strong odds he’ll have already testified by then, and the media just won’t have gotten wind of it.
Regardless of what we do or don’t end up hearing about it, today’s ruling means that Pence will be testifying very soon. And Pence now wants this over with. It’s why he didn’t appeal alongside Trump. Remember, once the DOJ subpoenaed Pence, there was never any other possible outcome to this story. The courts were going to rule fairly quickly that Pence had to testify, and he was always going to end up testifying. The courts may take forever to sort out congressional subpoenas, but the courts move on grand jury subpoenas rather quickly.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report