OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Former President Donald Trump has gone to federal court with a motion to stop former Vice President Mike Pence from testifying before a grand jury about election matters because he says the information is “privileged.”
“The request, in a new filing submitted secretly in a sealed proceeding on Friday, comes after the Trump team had already indicated to special counsel Jack Smith, who is overseeing the Justice Department’s criminal investigations into Trump, that the former president intended to assert privilege over Pence’s testimony,” CNN reported.
It comes after the Department of Justice asked a judge to compel the former vice president to testify before the grand jury.
Trump and Pence are on the same page as the former vice president has also vowed to fight the subpoena.
The New York Times reported.
Former Vice President Mike Pence is planning to fight a federal grand jury subpoena compelling him to testify in the investigation into President Donald J. Trump’s actions leading up to the riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, according to a person familiar with Mr. Pence’s plans.
Mr. Pence is expected to argue that the vice president’s role as the president of the Senate means that he is protected from legal scrutiny of his official duties by the Constitution’s “speech or debate” clause, intended to protect the separation of powers.
Such an approach would be novel and a departure from the more traditional argument that a vice president’s interactions with a president would be subject to executive privilege.
judge overseeing the grand jury testimony in the case of former President Donald Trump in Georgia has spoken after the head juror gave a series of interviews. Judge Robert C. McBurney said to ABC News that jurors “can talk about the final report” but that it can get “problematic” if they start to “synthesize the testimony.”
“McBurney said in an interview that after the grand jury submitted its report in January, he held a “farewell session,” at the request of the district attorney, in which he “reminded them of their oath, which is a statutory obligation that they not discuss with anyone outside their group their deliberations — that’s the one word that’s in the oath,” ABC News reported. “McBurney emphasized that ‘it’s important for people to understand that witness testimony is not deliberations.'”
“I explained you don’t talk about what the group discussed about the witnesses’ testimony, but you can talk about witness testimony,” the judge said. “You could talk about things that the assistant district attorneys told you. … And then finally, you can talk about the final report because that is the product of your deliberations, but it’s not your deliberations.”
Legal experts believe that former President Trump may have caught a huge break in a case involving a grand jury investigation for alleged election tampering in Georgia following the 2020 election.
On Wednesday, the foreperson for the grand jury, Emily Kohrs, did several interviews with various left-leaning media outlets and appeared to express extreme bias against the former president with some of her remarks, leading experts to question whether she has now tainted the entire process.
In a giddy interview with MSNBC, for instance, Kohrs expressed that she thought it would be “awesome” and “really cool” to subpoena Trump for testimony and swear him in:
“Did you personally want to hear from the former President?” asked the MSNBC interviewer.
“I wanted to hear from the former President, but honestly, I kind of wanted to subpoena the former President because I got to swear everybody in, so I thought it would be really cool to get 60 seconds with President Trump, of me looking at him and being like ‘do you solemnly swear’ and me getting to swear him in, I just feel like that would have been an awesome moment,” she said.
The foreperson of Trump’s Georgia Grand Jury says it would have been “AWESOME” to personally subpoena former President…
"Honestly, I wanted to subpoena Trump… It would be really cool! I thought that would be awesome!" pic.twitter.com/JNJaJtfIbd
— The First (@TheFirstonTV) February 22, 2023
In another interview, this one with CNN, Kohrs indicated there will be “no surprises” in terms of who will be indicted, and added that the number of people to be indicted is “not a short list.”
BREAKING: @CNN interview with Foreperson Juror Emily Kohrs in Trump GA Grand Jury says "there will be no surprises" in indictments if you've been following. Also more than 12 people recommended for charges.#trump #grandjury #Trump2024 #TrumpIsGuilty #Jan6th pic.twitter.com/kk5sVPP6Rl
— The Trent Cannon (@TheTrentCannon) February 22, 2023
CNN’s Anderson Cooper, speaking to a legal expert, opined regarding Kohr’s appearances, “Why this person is talking on TV, I do not understand.”
“This is a horrible idea, and I guarantee you that prosecutors are wincing watching her go on” the TV and make her statements, Eric Honig, a former assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in response.
“I was wincing just watching her eagerness to, like, you know, hint at stuff,” Anderson added.
“This is a very serious prospect here,” Honig continued. “Indicting any person, we’re talking about potentially taking away that person’s liberty. We’re talking about, potentially, a former president” being indicted “for the first time in this nation’s history. She does not seem to be taking that very seriously.”
“There’s no reason for her to be out talking,” Anderson offered — though Kohrs also gave an interview to his network.