(RepublicanNews.org) – Former Vice President Mike Pence isn’t going to make it easy for Special Counsel Jack Smith to investigate Donald Trump in connection with the January 6th, 2021 incident at the US Capitol.
Pence is expected to fight Smith’s subpoena on the grounds that Pence was President of the Senate on January 6th and should therefore be shielded from testifying.
Smith is leading a Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation into Trump and his alleged connections to or responsibility for the mass gathering at the Capitol building. Democrats have frequently called the incident an “insurrection,” while Republicans have noted that the only person killed that day was an unarmed protester, Ashli Babbit, who was shot dead by Capitol Police member Michael Byrd.
The Capitol Police investigated their own officer and unsurprisingly found nothing wrong with his conduct.
According to associates familiar with the Vice President, Pence believes the Constitution’s “speech and debate cause” shields him from having to testify in the investigation. That Constitutional provision is widely read as protecting sitting lawmakers by removing their fear of legal consequences for speaking candidly on public policy.
Pence is the highest-ranking official so far to be summoned by the DOJ investigation into what the Department believes was Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 Presidential elections.
It is unclear whether Trump will intervene in the effort to compel testimony from his Vice President. He has not said whether he will assert executive privilege to do so.
This is only one of several DOJ investigations taking place that involve many of the same political players. This January the White House announced that lawyers working for the President discovered classified papers at his home and at his D.C. think tank. The DOJ has treated President Biden much more gingerly than it did Trump. Despite Trump’s cooperation with the Department’s investigation into classified documents he held, the FBI launched a full raid on his Mar-a-Lago home in September 2022.
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