Trump’s lawyers expected to fight Pence’s subpoena on executive privilege grounds

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Lawyers for former President Donald Trump are expected to fight the special counsel’s subpoena of former Vice President Mike Pence on executive privilege grounds, according to a source familiar with Trump’s legal team’s discussions.

Pence has been subpoenaed by special counsel Jack Smith, a source familiar with the matter told NBC News on Thursday.

Smith was appointed in November by Attorney General Merrick Garland to lead the Justice Department’s investigations into Trump’s role in the Capitol riots on January 6, 2021, as well as his handling of classified documents after leaving office. The subpoena is related to the January 6 investigation, the source said.

The Trump campaign has not responded to a request for comment, and several global lawyers for Trump declined to comment.

CBS News first reported that Trump’s lawyers planned to fight the subpoena.

In December, NBC News reported that Smith had aforementioned to local officials in key presidential states for all communications related to Trump, his campaign, and a host of aides and allies who aided him in his efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

Smith’s move indicated that he was investigating a scheme involving Trump’s fake voters, a list of people who signed documents claiming they were the legitimate voters of their states and making false claims that Trump was the victor in those states.

Fake voters also sent fake certifications of Trump’s victories to the National Archives in hopes Pence will substitute them for the actual electoral votes that made Joe Biden president, according to evidence gathered by the House committee formed to investigate. the attack of January 6.

Trump had tried to claim executive privilege several times to prevent the committee from obtaining the documents it had sought during its investigation.

The committee devoted an entire hearing to Pence’s role on the day of the riots, as well as the intense public and private pressure Trump brought to bear on Pence to interfere in the vote count.

Pence said in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that he told Trump it would be illegal for him to interfere in the count during an Oval Office meeting with attorney John Eastman, one of the architects of a memo describing a scenario in which that Pence might refuse. to certify the computation of the Electoral College.

Pence, who presided over the congressional certification of the 2020 election results, finally did his ceremonial duty after the riots.

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