WASHINGTON – Vice President Mike Pence railed against the Justice Department on Thursday, underscoring that a subpoena to appear before a special council is “unprecedented and unconstitutional.”
Pence was issued a subpoena last week by special counsel Jack Smith, who is leading the Department of Justice’s investigation into former President Donald Trump.
Earlier this week, Pence said he would fight the subpoena by upholding his commitment to the Constitution. Pence was serving as the president of the Senate on Jan. 6, which he claims makes him immune from complying with the subpoena.
“The American people deserve to know the truth of that day. They have every right to hold the president and those around him accountable,” Pence said in remarks at the Coolidge and the American Project conference in Washington.
He added, “But the supreme law of the land is the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution forbids the executive branch from compelling an official to appear in ‘any other place for the conduct of their duties in the legislature.’”
Pence called Jan. 6 a “dark day in the history of our nation’s capital,” and said Trump was wrong for urging the former vice president to overturn the 2020 election. But Pence attacked the Justice Department for applying what he called a “new set of rules” to the Jan. 6 investigation.
“Equal justice under the law is at the center of the American system of justice and we must end the double standard,” Pence said.
Speaking for just over 30 minutes before an audience that included a number of young Coolidge Scholars, Pence did not address ongoing speculation that he is considering a presidential bid. But when asked after his speech about his 2024 plans, Pence said: “I’ll keep you posted.”
The two-day conference was organized by the Coolidge Foundation and marks the 100th anniversary of the inauguration of President Calvin Coolidge. Sen. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) kicked off the conference Thursday morning highlighting Coolidge’s Vermont upbringing. On Friday, Gov. Kristi Noem (R-N.D.) will deliver an address honoring the former 13th U.S. president.