Top aides to former Vice President Mike Pence reportedly declined to discuss direct conversations with former President Trump during recent interviews with the Jan. 6 Committee, according to CNN.
CNN reported that the Pence aides, Marc Short and Greg Jacob, did not discuss their conversations with Trump because the former president’s legal team told them not to reveal presidential conversations, which the lawyers believed should be covered under executive privilege.
Claims of executive privilege reportedly rarely came up during the uncontentious interviews, according to CNN. Both Short and Jacob reportedly only declined to answer a few questions, and willingly answered questions about conversations they had with Pence.
Short reportedly testified before the committee in a lengthy session last week following a subpoena, CNN reported earlier this week. 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.
It is unclear whether Pence himself will testify before the committee, but committee Chair Bennie Thompson confirmed last month that the panel has asked to speak to the former VP directly.
The former VP’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 having to appear before the committee himself.
Short, who is among the former VP’s closest advisers, accompanied Pence for most of 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, who presided over the Senate during the joint session of Congress certifying Joe Biden’s electoral victory last year, became a clear target for insurrectionists. Some insurrectionists were heard chanting “hang Mike Pence” as the then-VP defied Trump’s election fraud falsehoods.
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.
On Tuesday, the National Archives told Trump in a letter that it will release records from Pence to the committee “after consultation with the counsel to the president and the assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel, and as instructed by President Biden.” Trump had claimed that Pence’s records were privileged.
National Archivist David Ferriero wrote that Pence’s documents will be delivered to the committee on March 3 unless the courts stop the agency.