WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump has asked a federal appeals court to take immediate action to block former Vice President Mike Pence from testifying in the Justice Department’s probe into the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
Trump filed an appeal earlier this week in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, and on Friday he asked the court to take immediate action.
Trump legal team moves to block Pence testimony in Jan. 6 probeApril 10, 202301:12
The motion, which is under seal, is for a stay of a lower court judge's ruling requiring Pence to testify and comply with a subpoena from special counsel Jack Smith, who is investigating Trump's role in efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
A ruling on Trump's motion could come within days, based on how quickly the circuit ruled on previous similar requests from the former president.
If the court declines to stay the lower court's order, Trump would be left with no options to stop Pence’s testimony other than appealing to the Supreme Court.
NBC News reported that Trump's sealed appeal was filed in the circuit court on Monday, days after an adviser said Pence would not appeal an order last month by Judge James Boasberg, the chief judge of U.S. District Court in Washington, requiring Pence to testify in Smith’s investigation of Trump.
Last week, the federal appeals court denied Trump’s motion to block the testimony of several of his senior aides. The decision came after U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell ruled in March that Trump’s former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, and other aides, including Dan Scavino and Stephen Miller, must testify despite Trump’s invocation of executive privilege.
The case is just one of multiple criminal probes into Trump. A New York grand jury has indicted Trump, who was charged and arraigned earlier this month in Manhattan. He pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records related to his alleged role in hush money payments toward the end of his 2016 presidential campaign.