Pence says he won’t challenge all aspects of special counsel’s subpoena as more details emerge
Former Vice President Mike Pence has indicated that he does not dispute all aspects of the subpoena issued last month by Special Counsel Jack Smith in his investigation into then-President Donald Trump’s failed attempt and of its allies to cancel the 2020 elections.
Pence, who argued he was covered by the “speech and debate clause” that shields congressional officials from testimony related to their work, was pressed by ABC’s “This Week” co-anchor, Jonathan Karl, whether he objected to each area. covered by the subpoena.
“We’re not asserting executive privilege, which can encompass other discussions,” Pence told Karl during a meet-and-greet for “This Week.”
Pence invoked the speech and debate clause because in his role in certifying the vote by Congress on January 6, 2021, he was acting as president of the Senate and was a member of the legislative branch.
“I just believe that the work I’ve done to prepare and carry out my role as President of the Senate is covered by the speech and debate clause. I believe we have the law on our side,” he said. told Karl.
But according to Pence’s subpoena — which was described to ABC News by sources familiar with the document — there are a number of items that do not relate to Pence’s duty to certify the election, including documents and communications relating to efforts to challenge the 2020 election and related to Trump’s Jan. 6 rally that led to the attack on the Capitol.
The subpoena also seeks all documents and communications Pence has linked to efforts to install Jeffrey Clark as acting attorney general, which critics say would have allowed Clark to pursue baseless allegations of voter fraud. Clark became a key player in Trump’s effort to leverage the powers of the DOJ to find widespread corruption in the 2020 election process after it became clear Joe Biden had won the election.
Sources tell ABC News that the special counsel also wants information from Pence regarding Trump attorney John Eastman and any communications Pence may have had with or involving him. Eastman has written a plan for Trump to cling to power by falsely claiming that Pence could reject legitimate voters during the Jan. 6 certification.
Investigators also want to know if Pence had any communications with state or local officials regarding allegations of fraud in the 2020 election.
Pence vowed to fight the Supreme Court subpoena, if necessary, telling Karl, “We’re going to respect the court’s decisions, and that could take us all the way to the highest court in the land.”
Trump, for his part, is also challenging Pence’s subpoena, but on the basis of executive privilege. Court battles, which take place out of public view, are shrouded in secrecy due to the confidential nature of the grand jury.
Pence’s subpoena was issued after months of negotiations between federal prosecutors and Pence’s legal team.