Mike Pence Receives Subpoena in Special Counsel Investigation of Trump’s Role in Jan. 6

Former Vice President Mike Pence has received a subpoena as part of the ongoing special counsel investigation into Donald Trump.


Former Vice President Mike Pence has received a subpoena as part of the ongoing special counsel investigation into former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election and his role in connection to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

  • Special Counsel Jack Smith’s decision to subpoena a former vice president in the criminal investigation of his former boss is “an aggressive step,” according to AP News.
  • The decision to subpoena Pence could force Pence to testify against Trump just as both men prepare to face each other in the 2024 Republican presidential primaries.
  • Robert O’Brien, Trump’s final National Security Adviser, was also subpoenaed as part of Smith’s investigation.
  • Smith was charged with handling Justice Department probes of Trump’s handling of classified documents and his role in the Jan. 6 riots and the events leading up to it in November by Attorney General Merrick Garland.
  • Pence could face “serious legal consequences” if he refuses to comply with the subpoena.
  • The former vice president resisted testifying in the House Jan. 6 committee’s investigation into the Capitol riot before the committee was disbanded earlier this year.
  • Marc Short and Greg Jacob, two of the former vice president’s top advisors, have already testified before the grand jury and testified before the House Jan. 6 committee last year.


reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • The New York Times reported the decision to subpoena Pence “sets up a likely clash over executive privilege, which Mr. Trump has previously used to try to slow, delay and block testimony from former administration officials in various investigations into his conduct.”
  • The Washington Post interviewed a “person familiar with the matter” who confirmed that the Pence subpoena is directly related to Jan. 6 and comes after “months of negotiations between the Justice Department and Pence.”
  • According to CNN, “Pence’s attorney Emmet Flood is known as a hawk on executive privilege, and people familiar with the discussions have said Pence was expected to claim at least some limits on providing details of his direct conversations with Trump. Depending on his responses, prosecutors have the option to ask a judge to compel him to answer additional questions and override Trump’s executive privilege claims.”



  • The news of Pence’s subpoena came hours before the FBI conducted a search for classified material in the former vice president’s Indiana home, according to the Wall Street Journal. The two Justice Department actions don’t appear to be coordinated.
  • Fox News noted Trump said in 2022 he wouldn’t take part in the special investigation. At the time, Trump called it “the worst politicization of justice in our country.”
  • According to National Review, Smith is looking for Pence to testify about his interactions with Trump in the runup to Jan. 6, along with their discussions about the 2020 election in the lead-up and immediately after their defeat.


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© Dominic Moore, 2023