Marc Short, former Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, reportedly testified before the Jan. 6 committee following a subpoena, according to CNN.
Short testified before the committee in person last Wednesday during a lengthy session, CNN reported. Short’s testimony came after he previously produced a limited number of documents that were subpoenaed by the panel. The documents reportedly included a memo from Trump aide Johnny Mentee likening former President Trump to Thomas Jefferson. A source also noted to CNN that it’s customary for witnesses to hand over more documents when they testify.
Short’s testimony occurred after months of discussions between his attorney Emmet Flood and lawyers on the committee, in addition to the panel’s subpoena. It is still unclear whether Pence himself will testify, but committee Chair Bennie Thompson confirmed earlier this month that the panel has asked to speak to Pence directly.
Pence’s legal team has reportedly had early, informal discussions with the committee, according to CNN. However, Pence is reportedly looking to aides such as Short to act as his “proxy” instead of the former VP having to appear before the committee himself.
Short’s reported testimony comes after CNN previously reported last month that he had been cooperating with the committee ever since he was subpoenaed in November.
Short, who accompanied Pence for most of Jan. 6, is amongst the former VP’s closest advisers. Short’s cooperation could potentially offer insight into Pence’s whereabouts on the day of the deadly Capitol insurrection, including the then-VP’s interactions with former President Trump as Trump publicly demanded that Pence not certify Joe Biden’s electoral victory on Jan. 6.
Short was with Pence after the then-VP as evacuated from the Senate chamber and moved to a safe location beneath the Capitol as Trump supporters breached the building. Pence became a clear target for those storming the Capitol. Insurrectionists chanted “hang Mike Pence” as the VP defied Trump’s bogus claims of a “stolen” 2020 presidential election when he inevitably proceeded with the certification of Biden’s electoral victory.
Additionally, Short was a firsthand witness to Trump and conservative attorney John Eastman’s pressure campaign to convince Pence to delay the count of the Electoral College votes during a meeting in the Oval Office on Jan. 4. Trump reportedly told others that he banned Short from the White House after the Capitol insurrection because he was angry with Short’s role in Pence’s defiance of Trump.
News of Short’s testimony before the committee also comes as the former president openly admitted in a recent press release through his “Save America” PAC that he wanted Pence to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Trump made the admission as he railed against bipartisan lawmakers’ push to reform the Electoral Count Act (ECA), the 130-year-old law he had tried to weaponize to pressure Pence into tossing the results.
“Actually, what [the lawmakers] are saying, is that Mike Pence did have the right to change the outcome, and they now want to take that right away. Unfortunately, he didn’t exercise that power, he could have overturned the Election!” Trump ranted.
Despite Trump’s grievances, Pence, who presided over the Senate on the day of the joint session of Congress certifying Biden’s electoral victory, never had the power to overturn elections. Reforming the ECA would solidify a vice president’s lack of authority to overturn election results and would present more obstacles for members of Congress to object to certifying results.