Former Vice President Mike Pence plans to challenge a special counsel subpoena investigating former President Donald Trump’s role in the January 6 riots, a source familiar with Pence’s plans told NBC News on Tuesday.

Pence’s legal team will fight the subpoena on the grounds that the former vice president was acting in his role as president of the Senate during the joint session of Congress on January 6, arguing that he should be protected from having to testify as part of the » speech or debate clause” that shields lawmakers from too much outside scrutiny, the source said.

It’s unclear how the clause prevents Pence from testifying about other conversations in or around the White House before the attack on Capitol Hill.

The former vice president could address the issue during a tour of Minnesota and Iowa on Wednesday, the source said.

political he was the first to report Pence’s plans.

NBC News reported last week that Trump’s lawyers are expected to fight Pence’s special counsel subpoena on executive privilege grounds, according to a source familiar with Trump’s legal team’s discussions.

Pence has been subpoenaed by special counsel Jack Smith, a source familiar with the matter told NBC News last week.

Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Smith in November to lead the Justice Department’s investigations into Trump’s role in the riots, as well as the former president’s handling of classified documents after leaving office. Pence’s subpoena is related to the Jan. 6 investigation, the source said.

Last December, NBC News reported that Smith aforementioned to local officials in key presidential states for all communications related to Trump, his campaign, and a host of aides and allies who aided him in his efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

Smith’s move indicated that he was investigating a scheme involving the bogus list of Trump voters signing documents falsely claiming they were the legitimate voters of their states and that Trump was the victor in those states.

The House committee formed in the last Congress to investigate the attack on the Capitol revealed evidence that fake voters sent fake certifications of Trump’s victories to the National Archives in the hope that Pence will substitute them with the real electoral votes they converted. Joe Biden for president.

Trump tried to claim executive privilege several times to prevent the House committee on January 6 from obtaining the documents it had sought during its investigation.

The January 6 committee devoted an entire public hearing last year detailing Pence’s role in presiding over the Senate on the day of the riots on Capitol Hill, as well as Trump’s pressure campaign for his then-Vice President to interfere in the count. electoral. January 6th.

in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece published in November, Pence said he told Trump it would be illegal for him to interfere in the count during an Oval Office meeting with attorney John Eastman, one of the architects of a memo outlining a scenario in which Pence could refuse. to certify the Electoral College Count.

Pence finally fulfilled his constitutional duty to certify Biden’s electoral victory in the 2020 presidential election after the attack on the Capitol.