According to a person with direct knowledge of the situation, the special counsel in charge of the investigations into attempts by former president Donald Trump and his allies to rescind the results of the 2020 election has subpoenaed former Vice President Mike Pence.
According to the person, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Thursday to discuss a sensitive matter, the subpoena to Pence as part of the investigation by special counsel Jack Smith was served recently.
Pence is thinking about running for president in the 2024 Republican primary against Trump, which raises the unique possibility of a former vice president testifying against his former employer in a criminal investigation.
Since Trump supporters descended in a horde on American soil, the two have been estranged.
Democrat Joe Biden’s triumph was attempted to be halted on January 6, 2021, at the Capitol building.
The subpoena is an aggressive move from a prosecutor who, for many years, handled the arrests of prominent political figures and led the Justice Department’s public corruption department.
Given Pence’s close closeness to Trump for four years as important choices were being thought through and prepared, the move prepares the ground for a potentially contentious executive privilege dispute. It is unknown if efforts to get Pence to give voluntarily evidence faltered before the subpoena was issued.
In response to the subpoena’s issuance, initially reported by ABC News, representatives for Pence and Smith declined to comment.
Pence played a crucial role in Trump’s attempts to maintain power after the 2020 election.
Falsely insisting that the results could be quickly rejected and sent back to the critical battleground states he contested, Trump claimed that his vice president, who served in a ceremonial capacity in overseeing the certification of the election, had the power to do so.
On January 6, when Pence was presiding over the certification of Biden’s victory, Trump supporters who were motivated by the idea that the election had been rigged marched to the Capitol building, forcibly pushed past the police, and smashed out the windows and doors. Some of the mob shouted, “Hang Mike Pence! Hang Mike Pence!” as the vice president was guided to safety along with his staff and family. ”
Trump tweeted, “Mike Pence didn’t come to the Capitol while the mob was there.
Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Smith as special counsel in November, and Smith was given the responsibility of leading investigations into Trump’s attempts to overturn his defeat, his actions leading up to the Capitol uprising on January 6, and his possession of top-secret government documents at his Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago.
Federal prosecutors have subpoenaed numerous state Republican party chairs to gather evidence on a plan by Trump loyalists to promote phony presidential electors in crucial Biden-won battleground states to rig the election.
Numerous members of the Trump administration, including former Trump White House lawyer Pat Cipollone and Pence’s former director of staff Marc Short, have been called before the grand jury for questioning by federal prosecutors.
Election officials in numerous states, the results of which were contested by Trump, have gotten subpoenas requesting contacts with or involving Trump and his campaign advisers.
This is a hint that the probe is spreading.
The Justice Department should file criminal charges against Trump and his aides who assisted him in starting a campaign of pressure to try to overturn his defeat in the 2020 election, according to a House committee looking into the attack on January 6.