Mike Pence ‘gives evidence to grand jury for seven hours’ about Donald Trump and the 2021 US Capitol riots

Former US vice president Mike Pence has appeared before a federal grand jury investigating former president Donald Trump’s role in efforts to overturn the 2020 election, according to reports.

Mr Pence was inside the US District Court in Washington for more than seven hours on Thursday, NBC News reported.

Security was beefed up at the federal courthouse and a sniffer dog was spotted in the hallway.

His testimony – behind closed doors – comes less than 24 hours after a federal appeals court rejected a last-ditch appeal by Mr Trump’s legal team to block his appearance.

Mr Pence is also reportedly exploring a possible challenge to Mr Trump for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.

Mr Trump launched his third bid for the US presidency in November.

Incumbent Democrat president, Joe Biden, also confirmed he will run again in 2024 this week.

Mr Pence’s testimony on Thursday is a significant development in the Justice Department’s investigation and is likely to give prosecutors a key first-person account of certain conversations and events in the weeks preceding the deadly attack on the US Capitol.

Asked about his testimony, Mr Trump, who was at a campaign event in New Hampshire, told NBC News: “I don’t know what he said, but I have a lot of confidence in him.”

Mr Pence is considered a major witness in the criminal investigation led by Jack Smith, a former war crimes prosecutor.

“We’ll obey the law, we’ll tell the truth,” Mr Pence said in an interview with CBS News aired on Sunday.

“And the story that I’ve been telling the American people all across the country, the story that I wrote in the pages of my memoir, that’ll be the story I tell in that setting.”

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