CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Former Vice President Mike Pence said Wednesday he will challenge a subpoena by the special counsel overseeing investigations into efforts by former President Donald Trump and his allies to overturn the results of the 2020 election and will go all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary.
“Let me clear: I am going to fight the Biden DOJ subpoena to appear before the grand jury because I think it's unprecedented and it's unconstitutional,'" Pence told reporters in Minneapolis. “The fact that no vice president has ever been subject to a subpoena to testify about the president with whom they served makes it unprecedented."
Pence said he was "prepared to take this fight into the court and, if needs be, take it to the Supreme Court of the United States.”
The Justice Department is expected to oppose his efforts.
The Associated Press previously reported that Pence, who has been laying the groundwork for a likely presidential run in 2024, was readying to contest, on constitutional grounds, special counsel Jack Smith’s efforts to compel his testimony before a grand jury.
Aides argue that because Pence was serving in his role as president of the Senate on Jan. 6, 2021, during the congressional certification of the 2020 election that Trump lost, he is protected under the Constitution’s “speech or debate” clause from being forced to testify. That provision is intended to protect members of Congress from questioning about official legislative acts.
Pence noted that he has written and spoken extensively about Trump's efforts to pressure him to overturn the results of the election — something he did not have power to do.
“I have nothing to hide and I’m proud of what we accomplished. But for me, this is a moment where you have to decide where you stand and I stand on the Constitution of the United States,” he said.
He added that he expects Trump to try to assert executive privilege to block his testimony. "That’s not my fight. My fight is on the separation of powers,” Pence said.
Later Wednesday, Pence planned to visit Iowa, which is set to hold the first nominating contest of the GOP primary next year.
By TOM BEAUMONT and JILL COLVIN Associated Press
Associated Press writer Steve Karnowski in Minneapolis contributed to this report.
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