Washington — Federal prosecutors have asked a chief judge in Washington, D.C., to compel former Vice President Mike Pence to comply with a grand jury subpoena and testify as a witness at special counsel Jack Smith’s trial. Attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021Three people familiar with the investigation told CBS News.
The motion to compel Pence’s testimony — filed in secret with Chief Justice Beryl Howell in recent days — came after former President Donald Trump’s lawyers asserted executive privilege in response to Pence’s subpoena, the people said.
Pence’s assertion of executive privilege over the subpoena is consistent with how Trump’s team responded to related subpoenas last year, the people said, adding that Trump’s lawyers often argue that private conversations or communications with the president should remain confidential.
The latest filing comes after Pence signaled he would resist a subpoena from Smith’s office.
Pence and his lawyers are also preparing Use the speech or debate section of the Constitution as a means of protecting him from investigation. That clause protects members of Congress from being questioned by other branches of the federal government about their legislative actions.
Pence touts his unique role as both a member of the executive branch and president-elect of the Senate Congressional Certification of Electoral College Votes On January 6, 2021 – will be covered under Sec.
“On January 6, I acted as president of the Senate and presided over a joint session as described in the Constitution. So I believe that the Speech and Debate Clause of the Constitution actually prevents me from being compelled to appear before the Court as the Constitution says or anywhere else,” Pence-2024 said. is considering a run for president in — told reporters in Iowa last week.
“We will stand by that principle and take that case to the Supreme Court of the United States, as far as it will go,” he added.
A motion to compel testimony filed by the Office of Special Counsel is the logical next step in a criminal investigation, when prosecutors seek to compel a witness or third party to comply with a grand jury subpoena. The legal document, filed less than two weeks after news broke that Pence had received the subpoena, asks the court to uphold the subpoena’s legal authority and indicates Justice Department lawyers are moving quickly to try to put Pence before a grand jury.
People familiar with the investigation told CBS News in November that the Justice Department had reached out to Pence regarding Trump’s alleged efforts to tamper with the 2020 election and the events of January 6, 2021.
Pence’s legal team, Trump’s lawyers and federal prosecutors will now work behind closed doors and under seal to convince a federal judge that their interpretation of the law is correct.
The presiding judge also made a common move during a grand-jury hearing, issuing a court order for secrecy, or a “gag order,” in recent days, two people familiar with the investigation said. That is, not everyone involved in the investigation in any capacity can comment on it.
The special counsel’s moves come after Howell’s term as presiding judge for all sealed grand juries in Washington expires on March 17, and a new judge will take over.
Joshua Stowe, a spokesman for Smith’s office, declined to comment.
A spokeswoman for Pence declined to comment.
Trump’s lawyer declined to comment.
The Justice Department’s subpoena against Pence is separate from the ongoing investigation Documents His Indiana home was found with classified identification from the Trump administration. In that case, Pence’s team and lawyers worked together to secure records that were discovered and then raided his home and office in Washington.