Chicago Sun-Times

Pence subpoenaed by special counsel in Trump probe


Former Vice President Mike Pence has been subpoenaed by the special counsel overseeing investigat­ions into efforts by former President Donald Trump and his allies to overturn the results of the 2020 election, according to a person with direct knowledge of the event.

The subpoena to Pence as part of the investigat­ion by special counsel Jack Smith was served in recent days, according to the person, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Thursday to discuss a sensitive issue.

The extraordin­ary scenario of a former vice president potentiall­y testifying against his former boss in a criminal investigat­ion comes as Pence considers launching a 2024 Republican presidenti­al bid against Trump. The two have been estranged since a mob of Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021, in an attempt to stop Democrat Joe Biden’s victory.

The subpoena is an aggressive step from a prosecutor who for years led the Justice Department’s public corruption section and who oversaw indictment­s against major political figures. The move sets the stage for a likely executive privilege fight, given Pence’s close proximity to Trump for four years as major decisions were being contemplat­ed and planned. It is unclear whether efforts to secure voluntary testimony from Pence stalled before the subpoena was issued.

Spokespeop­le for Pence and Smith declined to comment on the issuance of the subpoena, which was first reported by ABC News.

Pence was a central figure in Trump’s efforts to stay in power after losing the 2020 election. Trump falsely insisted that his vice president, who had a ceremonial role in overseeing the certificat­ion of the election, could simply reject the results and send them back to the battlegrou­nd states he contested.

On Jan. 6, Trump supporters driven by the lie that the election was stolen marched to the Capitol building, brutally pushed past the police and smashed through the windows and doors while Pence was presiding over the certificat­ion of Biden’s victory. The vice president was steered to safety with his staff and family as some in the mob chanted, “Hang Mike Pence!”

While the mob was in the Capitol, Trump tweeted, “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constituti­on.”

Smith, who was named special counsel in November by Attorney General Merrick Garland, has been tasked with overseeing investigat­ions into Trump’s attempts to subvert his defeat, his actions leading up to the Jan. 6 insurrecti­on at the Capitol and his possession of topsecret government documents at his Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago.

Federal prosecutor­s have been especially focused on a scheme by Trump allies to elevate fake presidenti­al electors in key battlegrou­nd states won by Biden as a way to subvert the vote, issuing subpoenas to multiple state Republican party chairs.

Federal prosecutor­s have brought multiple Trump administra­tion officials before the grand jury for questionin­g, including former Trump White House counsel Pat Cipollone and Pence’s own former chief of staff, Marc Short.

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Former Vice President Mike Pence

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