Justice Department looks to question Pence regarding their criminal probe into Trump's efforts to overturn 2020 election: NYT
- The DOJ is looking to question Pence in their criminal probe of Trump's efforts to stay in office, per the NYT.
- Pence is reportedly mulling the request, seeing it as different than the House Jan. 6 panel.
The Justice Department is looking to question former Vice President Mike Pence as part of its criminal probe into former President Donald Trump's efforts to remain in office after his 2020 election loss to now-President Joe Biden, according to two individuals with knowledge of the situation who spoke with The New York Times.
Pence — who would be questioned as a witness — is weighing the request, per The Times. The former VP views the Justice Department's criminal probe as apart from the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, which he declined to testify before.
But Pence has a different view of the Justice Department inquiry because it is a criminal investigation, the New York Times reported, citing people familiar with the former vice president's thinking.
Pence could be compelled by a subpoena to testify before a federal grand jury, but none has been issued.
Any agreement for Pence to testify would likely be politically touchy as the Justice Department investigates Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election and pursues a separate inquiry into his handling of classified materials at Mar-a-Lago, his South Florida home and private club.
A major complication could arise out of an executive privilege claim by Trump, who has already invoked that legal protection — albeit with limited success — with other former administration officials.
Trump attempted to assert executive privilege over the testimony of a pair of top Pence aides — his former chief of staff, Marc Short, and Greg Jacob, who served as his top lawyer. After making initial appearances before the grand jury, Short and Jacob both returned to testify after the Justice Department contested Trump's executive privilege claims in a closed-door court proceeding.
Pence — who certified the results of the 2020 presidential election despite Trump's entreaties to overturn Biden's victory — was near the former president during crucial junctures during the last few weeks of the administration when the ex-commander-in-chief sought to remain in power.
The former vice president cooperating in the investigation would be a remarkable development, as Trump has already announced a 2024 presidential campaign and Pence is considering a campaign of his own.
This article has been updated.
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