According to Politico, Former Vice President Mike Pence is preparing to contest Special Counsel Jack Smith’s inquiry into the events of January 6 and the involvement of former President Donald Trump. Pence intends to rely on the “speech and debate” clause to support his claim that, as a former president of the Senate, he cannot participate in such proceedings due to his past legislative role. This provision safeguards lawmakers from involvement in legal matters that pertain to their official duties.
Former VP Mike Pence will resist a grand jury subpoena from special counsel Jack Smith's office, invoking the Constitution's Speech or Debate Clause given his role as acting president of the Senate on Jan. 6 (from @mniquette, off the @politico scoop) https://t.co/GWYbPZYw3v
— Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) February 14, 2023
As per Politico, should he proceed with his plan, Former Vice President Mike Pence would become the first vice president to assert his constitutional privilege. Mark Rozell, a political scientist, stated that a legal ruling may be required to determine the applicability of the speech or debate privilege. However, some commentators suggest that Pence’s argument may not be successful. According to Neil Eggleston, a former White House counsel, Pence cannot rely on the clause as it solely pertains to “Senators and Representatives.”
According to a source who spoke to Politico, Former Vice President Mike Pence believes it is his obligation to uphold the speech or debate clause’s protection, even if doing so necessitates legal action. The subpoena demanding information from Pence comes just a few weeks after the FBI initially seized classified records from his residence in Indiana.
The special counsel’s office has not issued any statement regarding this development. It remains uncertain how the legal challenge will unfold. Nonetheless, it is evident that Former Vice President Mike Pence is resolute in safeguarding his rights as a previous member of the legislature and as the former Vice President of the United States. He holds that participating in the inquiry would transgress the constitutional principle of separation of powers and is committed to defending his position.
The speech or debate clause has long been a critical aspect of the Constitution, shielding lawmakers from legal jeopardy for hundreds of years. The outcome of this case and its implications for future instances invoking the speech or debate privilege will be fascinating to watch. Regardless of the conclusion, Mike Pence’s challenge will be regarded as a noteworthy juncture in history.
The preceding article is a summary of an article that originally appeared on The Daily Caller