Former Vice President Mike Pence, who was subpoenaed last month by the special counsel overseeing investigations into former President Donald Trump relating to the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, filed a motion on Friday to block the subpoena, according to reports.
CNN reported that a source familiar with the filing claimed Pence filed the motion on the basis that the US Constitution’s Speech or Debate clause protects him from providing testimony related to Jan. 6.
The former VP has argued the subpoena was “unconstitutional and unprecedented,” and he told reporters in February during a gaggle in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, that his efforts to fight the subpoena are evidence of the “double standard” Republicans face.
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“I’m going to fight the Biden DOJ subpoena for me to appear before the grand jury because I believe it’s unconstitutional and it’s unprecedented,” Pence told reporters at the time. “Never before in American history has a vice president been summoned to appear in court to testify against the president with whom they serve.”
Representatives for Pence did not immediately respond to questions regarding the filing.
Pence’s motion, which CNN said was filed as part of sealed proceedings, aims at placing a halt on his testimony as it relates to his duties as a legislator at the time of the riot.
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Pence has stated that his fight is on the principle of separation of powers and the Constitution, and that he “had no right” to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election during a joint meeting of Congress on Jan. 6, 2021.
He argued the Speech or Debate Clause in the Constitution prohibits him from being compelled by the Biden administration to appear in court, adding that he will fight the subpoena on that principle all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary.
The subpoena came after months of negotiations between the former VP’s legal team and federal prosecutors.
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Special Counsel Jack Smith, who filed the subpoenae for Pence’s testimony, is looking into both documents and testimony related to the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, as well as Trump’s possible mishandling of classified documents after leaving office.
Brandon Gillespie of Fox News contributed to this report.