Pence could be the star witness in Trump’s January 6 trial

August 4, 2023

One of the many Shakespearean elements to the Trump prosecution is the role of former Vice President Mike Pence—who declined to testify before the House’s January 6 Committee and unsuccessfully fought a grand jury subpoena; but who plays a central role in this week’s indictment of his former boss, reports Axios.

Pence’s presidential campaign is struggling. But he’s likely to be in the spotlight for a whole other reason if Special Counsel Jack Smith’s case against former President Donald Trump goes to trial.

When a transcript of Pence’s grand-jury testimony was released last month, The New York Times reports, “it featured 18 consecutive pages that were blacked out, fueling intense speculation about what evidence he might have provided against his former boss.”

“The answer came on Tuesday, August 1, in the 45-page indictment from Smith, with Pence involved in some of the most vivid scenes.”

The indictment says that Trump (“the Defendant”) called Pence on New Year’s Day 2021, “and berated him because he had learned that the Vice President had opposed a lawsuit seeking a judicial decision that … the Vice President had the authority to reject or return votes to the states under the Constitution.”

“[T]he Defendant told the vice president, ‘You’re too honest.'”

Notes that Pence kept about his conversations with Trump in the days before the January 6 attack on the Capitol help inform Tuesday’s 45-page indictment, the AP reports.

“You know I don’t think I have the authority to change the outcome,” Pence told Trump in one call, per the indictment.

Pence has stepped up his criticism of Trump since the latest indictment was unsealed, telling reporters on Wednesday that Trump and “his gaggle of crackpot lawyers” asked him to “literally reject votes” on January 6.

Research contact: @axios