Former Vice President Pence has been subpoenaed by Special Counsel Jack Smith, who’s overseeing investigations into former President Trump, sources told ABC News on Thursday.
Attorney General Merrick Garland in November appointed veteran career prosecutor Jack Smith as special counsel to determine, among his duties, whether criminal charges should be brought against former President Trump over his actions related to the January 6, 2021 insurrection.
It was not immediately clear what information the special counsel was seeking. However, it follows months of negotiations with the Pence legal team.
On an interview with CBS News in November, Pence said he was “closing the door” on testifying before the House Select Committee that investigated January 6. “Congress has no right to my testimony,” Pence had added.
In the Vice President’s role as President of the Senate, it had been Pence’s duty on January 6 to certify the 2020 Presidential election that Trump lost to President Biden. That day, at his “Stop The Steal” rally ahead of the riot, Trump said to the crowd, “I hope Mike Pence is going to do the right thing” and refuse to certify the electoral college votes.
Pence was 40 feet from the mob when he fled from the rioters inside the Capitol building who were shouting, “Hang Mike Pence!”
Former federal prosecutor Renato Marriotti said on MSNBC Thursday evening, the fact that Smith’s office subpoenaed the former Vice President would suggest that the special counsel’s investigation into January 6 is “pretty far along.”
“I suspect that Pence is one of the later witnesses that you would call, not one of the first,” Marriotti said. “You wouldn’t want to bring in Mike Pence until you’ve talked to all of the aides that were there for all those initial conversations with Eastman.”
Attorney and Trump adviser John Eastman allegedly assisted Trump in a strategy to overturn the election’s results by obstructing the electoral college vote count. The House’s January 6 Committee criminally referred Eastman to the DOJ for obstruction of a criminal proceeding and conspiracy to defraud the United States.
A spokesperson for Pence did not respond to ABC’s request for comment, while the special counsel’s office declined to comment.