Former Judge: Pence ‘Doesn’t Have a Chance’ of Avoiding Grand Jury

Image copyright: Getty Images [via Fox News]

The Facts

  • J. Michael Luttig, the conservative former judge who advised former Vice President Mike Pence during his handling of the election certification on Jan. 6, 2021, has written an op-ed in The New York Times. The piece admonishes Pence for his attempt to avoid a grand jury subpoena from Jack Smith, the special counsel investigating former Pres. Trump’s post-election activities.

  • Luttig wrote that Pence “doesn’t have a chance in the world of winning his case” and that the former Vice President's attempt to dodge the grand jury will bring an “embarrassing spectacle” to the nation.

The Spin

Democratic narrative

If Pence challenges the subpoena, he’ll fall flat on his face. According to case law, speech-or-debate protections extend only to legislative acts, and Pence unequivocally stated his Senate role was ministerial and largely ceremonial. He’s just trying to stay in Trump’s good graces by appearing to fight the investigation.

Republican narrative

There's no doubt that Pence is right to take this path to fight the DOJ's subpoena as the vice president indeed constitutionally belongs to the legislative branch. By dismissing Trump's alleged pressure campaign to overturn the election, Pence made it clear that he was an officer of the Senate in his own right, not an executive official subordinated to the president.

Pro-Trump narrative

Smith is a politically-motivated prosecutor who is running an illegitimate investigation and has botched prosecutions in the past — both domestically and overseas. There’s no way anyone, let alone the former vice president, should tell Smith anything.

Metaculus Prediction

Political split



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