conservative legal icon gives mike pence a stinging reality check on subpoena fight scaled

A conservative retired federal judge has slammed former Vice President Mike Pence’s decision to fight a grand jury subpoena to testify in the Department of Justice’s investigation into the part played by Donald Trump in the Jan. 6 insurrection.

In an essay for The New York Times published Friday, J. Michael Luttig warned Pence ― who in January 2021 he actually advised on rejecting Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election result ― was playing a dangerous game by threatening to challenge the subpoena all the way to the Supreme Court.

It could seriously backfire on Pence politically, the George H.W. Bush-appointed judge suggested.

“The former vice president should not want the embarrassing spectacle of the Supreme Court compelling him to appear before a grand jury in Washington just when he’s starting his campaign for the presidency,” he wrote.

Pence, who’s said he’ll likely decide on a 2024 presidential run by the spring, is “considered by many of us across the political spectrum to be a profile in courage” for choosing democracy over his former boss, said Luttig.

But Pence’s branding of the “perfectly legitimate subpoena as unconstitutional is a far cry from the constitutionally hallowed ground on which he stood on Jan. 6,” Luttig added.

The federal courts will “make short shrift of this ‘Hail Mary’ claim” and Pence “doesn’t have a chance in the world of winning his case,” he cautioned.

Luttig advised Pence not to “let this dangerous tactic play out for long.”

“If he does, it will be more than he wished for,” he concluded.

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