A federal judge is hearing arguments Thursday between former Vice President Mike Pence, former President Donald Trump’s lawyer and special counsel Jack Smith over whether Pence can be compelled to testify in Smith’s investigation. January 6, 2021, Attack on the CapitolThree sources told CBS News.
Smith issued a subpoena Pence to testify in February and former Vice President Dr He will contest it, called it “unconstitutional” and “unprecedented.” Trump’s legal team claimed executive privilege over Pence’s testimony after CBS News First report Prosecutors have filed a motion in federal court to compel the former vice president to testify.
Emmett Flood, Pence’s attorney, as well as Trump’s legal team – Evan Corcoran, Jim Trusty, Tim Parlatore and John Rowley – were seen inside a federal courthouse in Washington, DC on Thursday ahead of the expected hearing. Legal teams for both Trump and Pence are working to fight the subpoena. Justice Department prosecutor Thomas Windom was also in the federal courthouse.
If Chief Justice James Bosberg sided with Smith’s team, Pence said he would appeal and the case could eventually reach the Supreme Court. Thursday’s hearing is under seal as required by the Grand Jury Privacy Act.
Pence said his objections to the subpoena stem from the Constitution’s speech or debate clause and the vice president’s role as president of the Senate. “My fight against the DOJ subpoena is simply to protect the privilege I had as president of the Senate to preside over a joint session of Congress on January 6,” he said shortly after it was issued.
Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Smith in November as special counsel to oversee a Justice Department criminal investigation into whether any entity “unlawfully interfered” with the Jan. 6 certification of the Electoral College and the transfer of power after the 2020 election.
Smith is overseeing a criminal investigation into the alleged mishandling of documents with classified markings and whether the investigation into those documents was obstructed.
Trump’s attorney, Corcoran, has been ordered to testify in the classified documents investigation into Smith, according to sources familiar with the matter. An appeals court ruled Wednesday that she must comply with a federal grand jury subpoena and provide her contact information with Trump about classified documents. Corcoran is set to testify before a grand jury as early as Friday and will provide evidence, including notes and transcripts, CBS News has confirmed.
Trump maintains his innocence and denies any wrongdoing.
Attack on the US Capitol
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