Marc Short, the former chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, is cooperating with the January 6 committee, a significant development that will give investigators insight from one of the highest-ranking Trump officials, according to three sources with knowledge of the committee’s activities.
CNN is also reporting for the first time that the committee subpoenaed Short a few weeks ago.
Short remains one of Pence’s closest advisers and is a firsthand witness to many critical events the committee is examining, including what happened to Pence at the Capitol on January 6 and how former President Donald Trump pressured the former vice president not to certify the presidential election that day.
Short’s assistance signals a greater openness among Pence’s inner circle. One source told CNN the committee is getting “significant cooperation with Team Pence,” even if the committee has not openly discussed that. Another source told CNN that Short’s help is an example of the “momentum” the investigation is enjoying behind the scenes.
Last month, CNN reported that a number of figures close to Pence, including Short, may be willing, either voluntarily or under the guise of a “friendly subpoena,” to cooperate with the committee.
Reached by phone Monday and asked about his cooperation, Short told CNN “no comment.” The select committee declined to comment when reached by CNN.
Cooperation from a close aide
Short is considered one of Pence’s most loyal aides and has worked for the former vice president on and off for more than a decade, including when Pence was a member of Congress. It’s unclear whether Short’s cooperation comes with Pence’s blessing. Before working as Pence’s chief of staff, Short was Trump’s legislative director for the first 18 months of his presidency.
Short was with Pence for most of January 6, including after the vice president was rushed out of the Senate chamber and moved to a safe location beneath the Capitol. Rioters had broken in to stop the certification of the presidential election, and some were chanting “hang Mike Pence.”
Short was also in the Oval Office on January 4, when Trump and conservative attorney John Eastman tried to convince Pence to delay the counting of the Electoral College votes.
Angry with Short’s role in backing Pence’s refusal to comply, Trump told others that he banned Short from the White House after the Capitol riot, as CNN previously reported.
Interest in the pressure campaign
News of Short’s cooperation comes as the committee continues to negotiate with a number of former Trump officials.
As CNN first reported last week, former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows has agreed to cooperate with the committee, but the extent of his potential cooperation remains unclear, as he continues to assert executive privilege.
CNN has also reported that Greg Jacob, Pence’s former general counsel, has emerged as a person of significant interest to the committee. Jacob played a critical role in persuading the former vice president to certify the electoral results.
Both Jacob and Short forcefully pushed back against the arguments from Eastman, who leaned on fringe legal theories in a controversial memo laying out how he claimed the vice president could overturn the election.
Along with Short, the committee considers Jacob a valuable fact-witness in its investigation.
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