Dhe special counsel for the investigation of former US President Donald Trump is said to have summoned his former Deputy Mike Pence. Pence should make a statement, and documents were also requested, several US media reported on Thursday evening. It remained unclear when exactly the summons should have taken place. The US Department of Justice appointed special counsel Jack Smith in November to oversee the investigation into Trump.
On the one hand, Smith is to deal with the investigations into secret government documents that Trump kept in his private home Mar-a-Lago after leaving office. On the other hand, the special investigator should take care of investigations into the attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. According to CNN, this is what Pence’s subpoena is about. The special counsel is particularly interested in the exchange between Trump and Pence about the riots. Pence could invoke executive privilege – the government’s prerogative to keep certain information secret.
Storming of the Capitol led to a break between Pence and Trump
Trump supporters had stormed the seat of parliament in Washington a good two years ago. Congress met there to formally confirm the election victory of Trump’s democratic challenger Joe Biden. The violent crowd wanted to prevent that. At the time, Pence chaired the congress session in his role as Vice President – legally a purely ceremonial task, but Trump had previously openly called on his Vice President to block the procedure. However, Pence, who had been loyal to Trump until then, refused. The storming of the seat of Congress with five dead caused horror around the world.
Pence had described Trump’s actions on January 6, 2021 as “reckless”. However, he has so far refused to be officially questioned.
Pence served as Vice President Trump from 2017 to 2021. It’s widely believed that Pence wants to run as the Republican presidential candidate in the 2024 election. However, he would first have to assert himself in the internal party primaries against Trump, who has already announced his candidacy.