Attorneys for former President Trump plan to appeal the subpoena that Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith issued to former Vice President Mike Pence as part of his investigation into the former president’s role in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol, according to multiple reports.
CBS first reported Friday that a source close to Trump’s legal team said his lawyers would contest the subpoena for Pence to turn over documents and provide testimony about his interactions with Trump in the lead-up to the 2020 presidential election and the insurrection. The challenge would be based on an argument of executive privilege.
A source familiar with the discussions members of Trump’s legal team are having also told NBC News of the plans.
Trump has on multiple occasions argued that executive privilege should shield him or former administration officials from having to provide documents or testimony for investigations involving him or an aspect of his administration.
He asserted executive privilege to try to prevent former administration officials from testifying before the House select committee that investigated the insurrection and to try to stop the National Archives from providing records about the attack to the committee. His arguments of executive privilege have been dismissed in many cases in the past following court battles.
The Hill has reached out to Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign for comment.
The former Indiana governor has not publicly said since the subpoena was issued whether he plans to cooperate with it. But Pence did not appear before the House committee during its investigation during the past congressional session.
Trump and Pence notably had a falling-out after Pence refused to overturn the results of the 2020 election. The former president has harshly criticized Pence since the end of his administration over the incident.
Still, Trump complimented Pence as an “honorable man” on Friday in an interview with Fox News Digital after the news of the subpoena was publicized.
Smith’s investigation is also looking into the classified and sensitive documents that were found at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property in Florida in August.