Marc Short, who was Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, testified last week before a federal grand jury in Washington investigating the events surrounding the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, the administration’s top official. Trump known thus far to have cooperated with the broader Justice Department investigation into the events leading up to the assault.
Mr. Short, who was subpoenaed by federal prosecutors, spent two to three hours before the grand jury on Friday, according to two people familiar with the matter. His grand jury appearance was first reported by ABC News.
Mr Short’s appearance was the latest indication that the Justice Department’s criminal investigation into the events surrounding and leading up to the January 6 events is intensifying amid growing questions about the urgency the department has given the case. review of Mr. Trump’s potential criminal liability.
It remains unclear what Mr. Short told the grand jury or what questions prosecutors may have asked him. But he previously gave a taped and transcribed interview to the House Select Committee in which he described Mr. Trump’s campaign to pressure Mr. Pence into disrupting the normal Electoral College vote count on Jan. 6 in part of an effort to keep Mr. Trump. in the office.
Mr. Short also informed Mr. Pence’s senior Secret Service agent on January 5, 2021 that Mr. Trump was about to publicly turn on Mr. Pence, potentially creating a security risk. On the day of the Capitol attack, some members of the crowd of Trump supporters attacking the Capitol chanted “Hang Mike Pence!” Mr. Trump reacted with approval to the chants, effectively saying that Mr. Pence deserved it, according to testimony collected by the House committee.
Mr Short’s appearance before the grand jury marks the first time it has become public knowledge that a figure with direct knowledge of what transpired inside the White House in the tumultuous days before Jan. 6 cooperated with federal prosecutors.
So far, the only other pro-Trump figure – aside from the rioters who were on the ground in the Capitol – known to have testified before a grand jury investigating the events of January 6 was the prominent organizer of “Stop the Steal “. Ali Alexander.
Several people linked to a scheme to create fake voter lists claiming Mr. Trump won the 2020 election in swing states that were actually won by Joseph R. Biden Jr. have received subpoenas to appear before the grand jury for information on the plan.
The Justice Department also seized the electronic devices of two lawyers linked to the so-called bogus election plan: John Eastman, an outside adviser to Mr. Trump who helped create and promote the idea, and Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department official who helped draft a letter to Georgia state officials falsely stating that the department had evidence of voter fraud in the state.