Mike Pence is planning to run against Donald Trump for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.
Pence’s first challenge regarding Trump takes place in court.
Mike Pence is about to ask Clarence Thomas to make this major decision about Donald Trump.
Pence challenged anti-conservative special counsel Jack Smith’s subpoena to compel grand jury testimony in Smith’s January 6 witch hunt.
At first it was thought Pence would fight the subpoena on executive privilege grounds.
Instead, Pence plans to contest the subpoena on the grounds that in his role as president of the Senate the Constitution’s “speech or debate” clause shields Pence from having to testify.
Mike Pence is preparing to resist a grand jury subpoena for testimony about former President Donald Trump’s push to overturn the 2020 election, according to two people familiar with the former vice president’s thinking.
Pence’s decision to challenge Special Counsel Jack Smith’s request has little to do with executive privilege, the people said. Rather, Pence is set to argue that his former role as president of the Senate — therefore a member of the legislative branch — shields him from certain Justice Department demands.
A separation of powers argument gives Pence the best chance of success.
“He thinks that the ‘speech or debate’ clause is a core protection for Article I, for the legislature,” someone familiar with Pence’s thinking told POLITICO. “He feels it really goes to the heart of some separation of powers issues. He feels duty-bound to maintain that protection, even if it means litigating it.”
This is an untested argument, but experts such as George Mason University political scientist Mark Rozell — who specializes in executive privilege — and Georgetown University Constitutional Law Professor Josh Chafetz believe Pence has a strong chance to prevail.
“It is admittedly a constitutionally murky area with no clear outcome,” Rozell told POLITICO. “Since there is a legislative function involved in the vice president presiding over the Senate, a court very well could decide that it must address the scope of the speech or debate privilege and whether it would apply in this case.”
“I do think there’s a plausible [speech or debate] argument here,” Chafetz explained. “And I’d be surprised if Pence doesn’t eventually make it. After all, a lot of the action here took place in terms of arguments about how he should rule from the chair.”
One way or the other the loser in this case will appeal.
And the Supreme Court is likely to have the final word on this matter.
The left is already wanting to impeach Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas over his wife Ginni’s beliefs about the 2020 election.
Should Pence contesting the subpoena make it all the way to the Supreme Court, Democrats and their allies in the media will once again demand Thomas recuse himself from the case.
At that point Thomas will face a decision.
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