The federal government, by way of a special counsel, is investigating former President Donald Trump over two separate things -- his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election results and his alleged unauthorized retention of classified documents after leaving office.
That same special counsel has now reportedly included former Vice President Mike Pence in the ongoing probe and issued a subpoena against him on Thursday, according to Breitbart.
It is believed that the subpoena relates to the part of the special counsel's investigation focused on the 2020 election and Jan. 6 Capitol riot of 2021, which is odd given that Pence famously disagreed with Trump's contention that the election was fraudulent, refused to go along with the alleged plan to reject electors from disputed states, and was a target of the riotous mob that briefly invaded the Capitol building to disrupt and delay the certification of the 2020 election results.
Recall that it was in mid-November that Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed former federal prosecutor Jack Smith to serve as an independent special counsel tasked with investigating the former president and others around him in regard to two separate potentially criminal issues.
Per that announcement, the first issue is "whether any person or entity unlawfully interfered with the transfer of power following the 2020 presidential election or the certification of the Electoral College vote," while the second issue is in regard to the probe of Trump's possession of documents marked as classified "as well as the possible obstruction of that investigation."
Fast-forward to Thursday, and ABC News reported that Special Counsel Smith had issued a subpoena against former Vice President Pence for certain documents and testimony that, per unnamed sources, relating to "the failed attempt by Trump and his allies to overturn the 2020 election, which culminated in the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol."
The outlet noted that the subpoena had been issued following "months of negotiations" between federal prosecutors under Smith and Pence's attorneys.
ABC News further reported that this appeared to be a "major escalation" of the special counsel's probe which suggested that it had "entered a more advanced stage," but could also potentially provoke a "lengthy and contentious legal battle" if Pence attempts to assert claims of executive privilege over the subpoenaed materials.
Meanwhile, aside from now apparently being roped into the special counsel's investigation of Trump over the 2020 election and Jan. 6, Pence has also become embroiled in a developing classified documents scandal of his own.
NBC News reported Friday that the FBI was conducting a search of the former vice president's home in Indiana for any potentially classified materials, just one day after Pence had been subpoenaed by Special Counsel Smith in regard to the separate matter of the election and riot.
The search stems from Pence's admission last month that outside attorneys he had hired in light of the classified documents scandals for Trump and President Biden had discovered a "small number" of classified documents in his Indiana home.
According to the outlet, the FBI had been granted "consent" to search Pence's home without a warrant following a negotiation between the Justice Department and Pence's attorneys that laid out certain "ground rules" and stipulations on how that search would be conducted.
Former Vice President Pence has not yet officially declared his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024 but is widely expected to do so soon, and most of the polls on the impending GOP primary battle show him consistently holding down third place behind former President Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
However, per Yahoo News, this new development with the special counsel subpoena -- not to mention the FBI search for classified documents -- could "complicate" things and scuttle any chance Pence may have had at the White House before he can even formally launch his campaign.