Former Vice President Mike Pence has been subpoenaed by the special counsel overseeing multiple investigations into former President Donald Trump.
ABC News reported that the subpoena came from special counsel Jack Smith, who was appointed in November to probe the classified documents the FBI seized from Trump’s Florida home.
Attorney General Merrick Garland also instructed Smith to investigate supposed efforts by the former president to “overturn” the 2020 presidential election. The special counsel appointment followed Trump’s November announcement that he will again run for president in 2024.
The subpoena of Pence is reportedly the result of months of negotiations between the former vice president’s legal camp and federal prosecutors.
It is not clear exactly what details Smith is looking for from Pence. However, many observers believe that the subpoena dramatically turned up the heat in the investigation and indicated that the probe has significantly progressed.
The subpoena is an escalation in the Biden administration's ongoing efforts to make a case against Trump. https://t.co/BGT6Q3CrrL
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) February 10, 2023
The possibility exists that Pence may seek to invoke executive privilege and resist Smith’s efforts to obtain information, though there is thus far no indication that is the route he will take. This could set the stage for a protracted legal battle that is largely unprecedented.
Two of Pence’s aides, Marc Short and Greg Jacob, submitted testimony to the grand jury and are engaged in legal proceedings before federal courts. Trump has sought to invoke executive privilege over their testimony to the grand jury.
Both aides also testified before the Jan. 6 House committee investigation of the 2021 incident at the Capitol.
There was a showdown between Pence and his former boss when Trump made a last-ditch effort to stall Congress’ counting of electoral votes in the 2020 presidential election. The pair clashed, and Pence held his ground while presiding over the electoral vote count.
The former vice president is quite public in his recounting of the events surrounding that dramatic day at the Capitol. In his recently released memoir, Pence related that he told the president directly that his attorney did not think his opposing the electoral count had firm legal standing.
The former vice president previously asserted that he would absolutely refuse to comply with a subpoena from the House Jan. 6 committee. He has yet to publicly comment on this latest action, which is just another extension of the administration’s war on the former president.