Pence says he’ll ‘fight’ Jan. 6 subpoena from the Justice Department

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Former Vice President Mike Pence stated Wednesday that he plans to “struggle” a subpoena from the particular counsel investigating Donald Trump‘s actions surrounding Jan. 6, calling the demand for his cooperation “unprecedented and unconstitutional.”

“No vp has ever been topic to a subpoena to testify in regards to the president with whom they served,” Pence advised reporters after talking at a mother and father’ rights occasion in Minnesota.

Pence, who has written a e book detailing a few of his interactions with the previous president main as much as the assault on the U.S. Capitol and achieved quite a few interviews with reporters on the subject, stated he was preventing the subpoena to testify earlier than a grand jury on precept.

He additionally confirmed his unusual legal strategy — sustaining that he is immune from testifying due to authorized protections for lawmakers since he was performing as president of the Senate through the Jan. 6 Electoral School vote rely reasonably than as a member of the manager department.

“For me, it is a second the place it’s important to determine the place you stand and I stand on the Structure of america,” Pence stated.

“On January sixth, President Trump was incorrect. As I’ve stated earlier than, his phrases have been reckless, they usually endangered my household and everybody on the Capitol,” he stated.

He added that regardless of Trump’s pleas on the contrary, “I had no proper to overturn the election. However I might say on this very second, it’s additionally incorrect to ascertain a precedent the place a legislative official will be referred to as into court docket by the manager department.”

Pence famous that his argument that he has legislative immunity from his function on Jan. 6 was the identical one utilized by the Justice Division in 2021 in its protection of a lawsuit claiming the 2020 election was illegitimate.

The DOJ was profitable in getting that lawsuit dismissed, however the decide did not cite the federal government’s place on legislative immunity in tossing the case.

“We’re ready to take this struggle into the court docket,” Pence stated Wednesday, including that he expects Trump can even problem the subpoena on govt privilege grounds.

Pence was subpoenaed by particular counsel Jack Smith, a supply conversant in the matter advised NBC Information last week.

Legal professional Basic Merrick Garland appointed Smith in November to steer the Justice Division’s inquiries into Trump’s function within the riot in addition to his dealing with of labeled paperwork after he left workplace. The subpoena of Pence was associated to the Jan. 6 investigation, the supply stated.

A spokesperson for Smith declined to touch upon the Justice Division beforehand utilizing Pence’s legislative immunity argument.

At a cease in Iowa later Wednesday, Pence sidestepped a query about whether or not he would voluntarily sit down with prosecutors. “If we have been to proceed to just accept a subpoena for look earlier than a grand jury or trial, I consider that may diminish the privileges loved by any future vp, be that Democrat or Republican. I merely is not going to try this,” Pence stated.

Regardless of quite a few public statements about resisting Trump’s calls to reject the votes from quite a few states on Jan. 6, Pence has resisted efforts to get him to testify beneath oath about his experiences.

In August of final 12 months, Pence recommended he was open to speaking to the House committee investigating the riot on the Capitol, earlier than backtracking in an interview with CBS News in November.

“I by no means stood in the way in which of senior members of my group cooperating with the committee and testifying, however Congress has no proper to my testimony,” Pence stated. “I’m closing the door on that.”

Jillian Frankel and Ken Dilanian contributed.

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