Pence To Resist January 6 Probe Subpoena, Cites Speech Or Debate Clause of the Constitution

( – Former Vice President Mike Pence will oppose a subpoena by the January 6 special investigation compelling him to testify in the January 6 riot hearing, The New York Times reported. Pence will reportedly seek legislative privilege in resisting the subpoena.

Pence cites the “speech or debate” clause of the Constitution and says that his role as president of the Senate at the time of the January 6 riot prevents him from being compelled to testify.

The Speech or Debate Clause, Article 1, Section 6 of the United States Constitution allows officers of the U.S. government to be “privileged from arrest” during carrying out their official duties in Congress, except in cases of “treason, felony, and breach of the peace.” The Supreme Court states that the provision must be “construed broadly” to “effectuate” the Constitution’s role in the separation of powers within the U.S. government, the Constitution Annotated explained.

Pence’s attorneys will attempt to use the tactic of presenting the speech and debate clause as exempting the former vice president from needing to testify, NBC News reported.

As Pence’s only constitutional role as vice president was to act as the president of the Senate, whatever he was doing in this role at the time the January 6, 2021 events occurred, would have been protected by the speech or debate clause, the Pence team argued.

Because of this clause, the special counsel investigation would not legally be able to ask Pence about anything he was doing in his official capacity on January 6, 2021, NBC News explained.

Former President Donald Trump has attempted to seek an executive privilege tactic to prevent Pence from testifying in the January 6 hearing. However, the executive privilege reportedly only applies to the current executive, NBC News explained.

The January 6,2021 committee’s decision to subpoena Pence set the stage for “political showdown” over executive privilege, NPR News reported.

Copyright 2023,