WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump has asked a federal appeals court to take immediate action to bar former Vice President Mike Pence from testifying in the Justice Department’s investigation into the January 6 riot on Capitol Hill.

Trump filed an appeal earlier this week in the US Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, and on Friday asked the court to take immediate action.

The motion, which is sealed, is to stay a trial 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, depending on how quickly the circuit ruled on previous similar requests from the former president.

If the court refuses to stay the lower court’s order, Trump would have no choice but to appeal to the Supreme Court to stop Pence’s testimony.

NBC News reported that Trump’s sealed appeal was filed in circuit court Monday, days after a counsel said Pence would not appeal an order issued last month by Judge James Boasberg, chief judge of the US District Court. Trump investigation.

Last week, the federal appeals court rejected Trump’s motion to block testimony from several of his top advisers. The decision came after U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell ruled in March that former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows and other aides, including Dan Scavino and Stephen Miller, must testify despite the invocation of executive privilege by Trump’s part.

The case is just one of multiple criminal investigations into Trump. A New York grand jury indicted Trump, who was indicted and arraigned earlier this month in Manhattan. He has 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.