(JustPatriots.com)- An intricate and protracted court battle is shaping as former Vice President Mike Pence prepares to oppose a subpoena from the special counsel investigating former President Trump.
The rights and privileges of the vice president may be best defined by Pence’s refusal to comply with the subpoena, which is consistent with his earlier unwillingness to testify regarding the events surrounding January 6, 2021. In the short term, though, it might impede the work of special counsel Jack Smith, who is now looking into whether or not President Trump attempted to sabotage the upcoming 2020 election.
On January 6, Pence, as Senate presiding officer, plans to introduce a novel legal argument.
A person familiar with the former vice president’s preparations said that his legal team planned to claim that the “speech and debate” section of the Constitution shields him from the DOJ’s subpoena since his job as president of the Senate legally comes within the legislative branch.
Lawmakers have customarily relied on this provision, which shields them from questioning “in any other location” then the legislature itself.
If Vice President Pence succeeds, it may change how we see the separation of powers.
Nonetheless, the Vice President has a unique, though temporary, position in the Senate, which may provide some with a sense of security.
In his paper on the vice president’s position, separations of powers specialist Roy Brownell writes that courts have often taken a comprehensive view of the clause, expanding its safeguards to cover everything other than direct lawmaking and, in some situations, even legislative personnel.
While Pence detailed his meetings with Trump and Trump’s legal staff in his biography, he has refused to testify under oath regarding the events of January 6.
Former White House officials appointed by Vice President Pence testified before a House committee last year on the January 6 rioting, but Pence said Congress had “no right” to hear his account of the events.
But, Pence was never subpoenaed by the House committee looking into the assault; therefore, whether subpoenas are mandatory has never been directly addressed.