Is former vice president Mike Pence secretly happy at being subpoenaed to testify in the Justice Department’s January 6 investigation?
On Thursday, Jack Smith, who is investigating both the insurrection and the documents found at former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago in August, issued the subpoena for documents and testimony from Pence, reportedly about the interactions he had with Trump leading up to the 2020 presidential election and the 2021 attack on the Capitol.
Some sources are suggesting that this is the boon that Pence had been waiting for: a chance to tell the whole story of Trump’s dereliction on that troubling day, in the process dissociating himself from any taint of treachery ahead of his 2024 presidential bid. In such testimony he could present himself as the hero of the day who refused to aid in what amounted to an attempted coup, and then talk about his dramatic flight to safety as the mob was calling for his hanging. He could do all this without appearing to be either disloyal or boastful.
Pence has indicated he is considering a run for the White House in 2024, but has thus far trailed behind Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) by significant margins in hypothetical GOP primary polls.
Olivia Troy the Pence former aid, said in an MSNBC interview, “This is sort of the security blanket that I think Mike Pence has been looking for.” She noted that Pence would be able to say publicly that he wasn’t testifying willingly, but was being compelled to do so because of legal requirements.
However, since the former vice president chose not to testify before the House select committee that investigated the Jan. 6 insurrection during the past session of Congress, if he chooses to do so now it might be for an ulterior motive.
While Pence may be willing—and perhaps eager—to testify, Trump’s attorneys reportedly plan to appeal the subpoena on his behalf, arguing that Pence should not be required to testify on grounds of executive privilege.
Troye said Pence is more likely to cooperate with the special counsel’s investigation than that of the House select committee because he viewed the committee as politicized.
Troye suggests that, “In some ways, it’s a political advantage if the DOJ takes Donald Trump out of the running; that works in Mike Pence’s favor, and I’m sure that is part of the calculus going to the Pence team right now,” she said.
Trump is still the only major candidate to have declared his candidacy, but if he were to be disqualified from running, the entire field would open up to others aspiring for the presidency.
Discussion about this post