Judge orders Pence to testify in J6 Probe, grants immunity on ‘certain matters’
Former Vice President Mike Pence was ordered Tuesday to testify in the January 6 inquest, but a judge ‘agreed, at least in part’, that he was entitled to immunity on certain questions because he was serving in his capacity as President of the Senate that day, according to a report.
Quoting an anonymous source, Politics Kyle Cheney wrote that Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, James Boasberg, “agreed, at least in part, with Pence’s legal team that the former vice president benefits immunity to testify on certain matters due to his role as President of the Senate on January 6, 2021.”
Jill Colvin and Eric Tucker of The Associated Press reported “Pence would not be available to answer questions about his actions on January 6, 2021,” citing two unnamed sources.
Special Counsel Jack Smith issued a subpoena to Pence in January. The former vice president claimed the subpoena failed to pass constitutional scrutiny during an exclusive interview with Breitbart News last month.
“The special counsel’s subpoena for me, as a former vice president, before the Grand Jury is unconstitutional and unprecedented,” Pence said. “I will fight the Biden administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ) on this. I will tell you that I hope when people reflect on my career, they will recognize that my commitment is to the Constitution of the United States.
Pence called the subpoena a violation of the Speech and Debate Clause of the U.S. Constitution, arguing that it would require him to testify about his role as President of the Senate. He said:
I have held to the express language of the Constitution on January 6th and have ensured the peaceful transfer of power and on this issue we will stand firmly by the separation of powers and the speech and debate clause which is enshrined in the Constitution,” Pence said. “The executive power cannot compel anyone, within the framework of its legislative functions, to appear as the Constitution says “in any other place”. The DOJ knows it. In fact, the DOJ has taken the position that, in my role as President of the Senate, I had absolute legal immunity under the speech and debate clause in two separate cases over the past two years, but now it looks like we’ve come up against that two-tier justice system that conservatives have grown accustomed to since Biden’s DOJ. Despite the fact that the DOJ took the position that the speech and debate clause applied to me in my role as President of the Senate twice in the past two years, they have now issued a subpoena for compel me to testify. So we are going to fight it for constitutional reasons.
Politico’s Kyle Cheney noted that Boasberg concluded that Pence was not entitled to executive privilege as former President Donald J. Trump had argued. This was not a claim that Pence was pursuing.
“It was not immediately clear whether Boasberg’s decision, which remains under seal, is broad enough to satisfy Pence’s public resistance to the subpoena – issued by Special Counsel Jack Smith – or whether he has the intent to appeal,” Cheney wrote.
The former vice president’s camp “is evaluating whether to appeal,” Tucker and Colvin noted.