Former VP Mike Pence is prepared to resist the Special Counsel Jack Smith’s grand jury subpoena for testimony by claiming “legislative privilege,” according to a report from Politico.
This is different from “executive privilege.” Pence is set to argue that his former role as president of the Senate — therefore a member of the legislative branch — shields him from DOJ demands.
Pence allies say the “speech or debate clause” prevents prosecutors from compelling testimony as a core protection for Article 1 for the legislature.
While Pence aides say he’s taking this position to defend a separation of powers principle, it will allow him to avoid being seen as cooperating with a probe that is politically damaging to Trump, who remains the leading figure in the Republican Party.
Constitutional scholars say Pence raising the issue will almost certainly force a court to weigh in. That could take months.