Former Vice President Mike Pence will fight the grand jury subpoena for his testimony about Trump’s efforts to challenge the 2020 election.
Last week it was reported that the special counsel overseeing the investigations into Trump has subpoenaed former Vice President Mike Pence.
According to Politico, rather than assert executive privilege, Pence will argue that as president of the Senate, he was acting as a member of the legislative branch on January 6 and is therefore protected by the DOJ’s demands.
Mike Pence is preparing to resist a grand jury subpoena for testimony about former President Donald Trump’s push to overturn the 2020 election, according to two people familiar with the former vice president’s thinking.
Pence’s decision to challenge Special Counsel Jack Smith’s request has little to do with executive privilege, the people said. Rather, Pence is set to argue that his former role as president of the Senate — therefore a member of the legislative branch — shields him from certain Justice Department demands.
Pence allies say he is covered by the constitutional provision that protects congressional officials from legal proceedings related to their work — language known as the “speech or debate” clause. The clause, Pence allies say, legally binds federal prosecutors from compelling Pence to testify about the central components of Smith’s investigation. If Pence testifies, they say, it could jeopardize the separation of powers that the Constitution seeks to safeguard.
“He thinks that the ‘speech or debate’ clause is a core protection for Article I, for the legislature,” said one of the two people familiar with Pence’s thinking, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss his legal strategy. “He feels it really goes to the heart of some separation of powers issues. He feels duty-bound to maintain that protection, even if it means litigating it.”
Jack Smith, who just returned to the US from Europe after recovering from a biking accident, is moving full steam ahead with his probes into whether Trump committed crimes.
The special counsel investigation was supposed to focus on whether Trump broke the law when he took White House records to Mar-a-Lago and the other part of the probe is related to January 6.
However, Jack Smith has now expanded his investigation and is looking into Trump’s efforts to fight the massive 2020 election fraud operation in key swing states.
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