Marc Short, who was chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, testified last week to a federal grand jury in Washington investigating the events surrounding the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, the best rating official of the Trump administration up to now known to have cooperated with the Justice Department’s widening inquiry into the events leading as much as the assault.
Mr. Short, who was subpoenaed by federal prosecutors, spent two to 3 hours in front of the grand jury on Friday, based on two people aware of the matter. His appearance before the grand jury was first reported by ABC News.
Mr. Short’s appearance was the newest indication that the Justice Department’s criminal investigation into the events surrounding and leading as much as the events of Jan. 6 is intensifying amid growing questions on the urgency the department has placed on examining Mr. Trump’s potential criminal liability.
It stays unclear what Mr. Short told the grand jury or what questions prosecutors could have asked him. But he previously gave a recorded and transcribed interview to the House select committee by which he described Mr. Trump’s campaign to pressure Mr. Pence into disrupting the traditional tally of Electoral College votes on Jan. 6 as a part of an effort to maintain Mr. Trump in office.
Mr. Short also informed Mr. Pence’s lead Secret Service agent on Jan. 5, 2021, that Mr. Trump was about to show publicly on Mr. Pence, potentially making a security risk. On the day of the Capitol attack, some within the mob of Trump supporters attacking the Capitol chanted, “Hang Mike Pence!” Mr. Trump reacted approvingly to the chants, effectively saying that Mr. Pence deserved it, based on testimony collected by the House committee.
Mr. Short’s grand jury appearance marks the primary time it has grow to be publicly known that a figure with firsthand knowledge of what took place contained in the White House within the tumultuous days leading as much as Jan. 6 has cooperated with federal prosecutors.
Until now, the one other pro-Trump figure — except for the rioters who were on the bottom on the Capitol — known to have testified in front of a grand jury investigating the events of Jan. 6 was the outstanding “Stop the Steal” organizer Ali Alexander.
Several people connected to a scheme to create false slates of electors claiming Mr. Trump won the 2020 election in swing states that were actually won by Joseph R. Biden Jr. have been issued grand jury subpoenas searching for information in regards to the plan.
The Justice Department has also seized electronic devices from two lawyers connected to the so-called fake elector plan: John Eastman, an out of doors adviser to Mr. Trump who helped to create and promote the thought, and Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department official who helped draft a letter to state officials in Georgia falsely stating that the department had evidence of election fraud within the state.