Former Vice President Mike Pence speaks during an event to promote his new book at the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation on October 19, 2022 in Washington, DC.
Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images
Federal prosecutors asked a judge to compel the vice president Mike Pence to comply with a grand jury subpoena for his testimony in the criminal investigation of the former president Donald Trump for trying to reverse his 2020 election loss to the president Joe Bidenand new message he says.
The sealed motion, filed in recent days by Chief Judge Beryl Howell in U.S. District Court in Washington, DC, came after Trump’s lawyers invoked executive privilege over Pence’s subpoena, CBS News reported Thursday.
On Wednesday, The New York Times reported that special counsel Jack Smith, who is overseeing the investigation, had obtained a grand jury subpoena to testify against Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband. Jared Kushner.
Both Ivanka Trump and Kushner served as senior White House advisers during her father’s administration.
Trump previously sought to exercise executive privilege — which allows certain presidential communications to be preserved confidentially – via grand jury testimony in probe, news outlets reported.
He has also tried to apply it in other recent legal matters, including the Battle of the Hundreds confiscated documents FBI last summer from his personal residence at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida. Smith is also leading the criminal investigation into Trump in connection with the case.
Smith’s motion to compel Pence’s testimony in the election investigation asks Howell to assert the legal authority of the grand jury subpoena, according to CBS, which cited people familiar with the matter.
Pence’s spokesman, when asked about the CNBC report, pointed to a CBS report that Howell had recently issued a gag order barring people involved in the investigation from commenting on the matter.
Howell on Thursday he refused media efforts to gain access to records related to the grand jury investigation.
A spokesman for Smith declined to comment to CNBC. A lawyer for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Pence said last week he would fight summons to court.
“No vice president in American history has ever been forced to testify against the president he serves,” Pence said.
Pence plans to argue that his former role as President of the Senate — which he held by virtue of being the Vice President of the United States — means he is subject to the Constitution’s “speech or debate” clause, which can protect members of the legislative branch from legal threats related to their work.
Lawyer for Rep. Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., cited the provision earlier on ThursdayHe told a federal appeals court that the Justice Department did not have the authority to search the congressman’s cell phone as part of the agency’s investigation of Trump.
Separately, the FBI seized a classified document va search of Pence’s home earlier this month.
The consensual search was scheduled weeks after Pence’s attorney alerted the government to a “small number” of classified records found at his residence.
Biden’s attorney general, Merrick Garland, appointed Smith as special counsel in November in response to Trump’s announcement that he would seek the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.
At the end of his first term on January 6, 2021, Trump called on Pence to help cast doubt on the election results by rejecting key Electoral College votes for Biden.
After Pence refused, a violent mob of Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol, sending the vice president and congressional lawmakers into hiding.
Pence, who has been teasing his possible White House administration, said he believes he willbetter choices” than Trump for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.