Former Vice President Pence is expected to fight a subpoena for his testimony from the office of Special Counsel Jack Smith, according to reports Tuesday.
Pence was subpoenaed last week by Smith, who’s overseeing, among his duties, the investigation into former President Trump’s role in the January 6 insurrection and attempt to overturn the 2020 Presidential election. He was appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland in November.
In the Vice President’s role as President of the Senate, it had been Pence’s duty on January 6 to certify the 2020 electoral college count that Trump lost to President Biden. 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 results.
Pence was 40 feet from the mob when he fled from the rioters inside the Capitol building, shouting, “Hang Mike Pence!”
Pence and his team say that serving as the former president of the Senate essentially makes him a member of the Legislative branch and would thus be shielded from subpoena under the “speech and debate” clause of the Constitution.
The clause essentially states that speech during a legislative session by Senators and Representatives is privileged and “shall not be questioned in any other place.”
Pence has also refused to speak to the House Select Committee that investigated January 6—although he was never subpoenaed by that panel—stating back in November, “Congress has no right to my testimony.”
However, Pence has since spoken publicly about January 6—and even written about it in his memoir, where he details how he was part of numerous conversations where Trump and his legal advisers pushed baseless claims about widespread fraud or floated untested legal theories for keeping the White House.
Pence is reportedly weighing a run for President in 2024. He’s scheduled to visit Iowa and Minnesota this week.