Pence Subpoena Fight Clarified Key Constitutional Principles

April 18, 2023

Types : Bylined Articles

While most of the attention this month has been on the indictment of former President Donald Trump brought by the Manhattan district attorney, another investigation that potentially carries greater legal peril for Trump took a step forward when former Vice President Mike Pence decided not to appeal a decision requiring him to testify before the grand jury investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Ironically, while Pence was a prominent figure in the events of Jan. 6, the actual content of his testimony may be less consequential than the recent rulings that will ultimately require him to testify before the grand jury, given the attendant constitutional issues raised by the subpoena’s issuance.

Pence was reportedly was subpoenaed by special counsel Jack Smith in early February.

The unique circumstances of the vice president’s role in the Jan. 6 tableau raised several important issues surrounding this subpoena, so a little context may be helpful.