Former Vice President Mike Pence is intending to challenge the subpoena sent by the Department of Justice special counsel investigating former President Donald Trump’s role in the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack.
According to an NBC News on Tuesday, Pence’s legal team is intending on opposing the subpoena, stating that the former Vice President had been acting in his role as president of the Senate on Jan. 6 which should shield him from having to provide his testimony. This is a part of the “speech or debate clause” which provides legislators protection against different types of outside scrutiny. However, the clause does not directly affect Pence’s ability to testify about conversations that took place at or around the White House prior to the insurrection.
NBC News’ source has said that the former vice president might choose to address the issue during his stops in Minnesota and Iowa on Wednesday.
Last week, NBC News reported that Trump’s lawyers would also be opposing the subpoena received by Pence on the grounds of executive privilege.
Attorney General Merrick Garland had appointed the special counsel to this case, Jack Smith, in November. Smith is leading both investigations relating to the former President, including the one relating to the January 6, Capitol attack and the one relating to the mishandling of classified documents found in Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate. Pence has been called to testify and provide documents in the Jan. 6 investigation through the subpoena.
Last December, Smith also subpoenaed local officials in presidential election swing states to hand over all communications they had with Trump and his campaign.