Pence's former chief of staff testified before the January 6 committee

WASHINGTON — Marc Short, who served as former Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, testified privately last week before the House...

WASHINGTON — Marc Short, who served as former Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, testified privately last week before the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, the latest twist in weeks of negotiations between panel investigators and Mr. Pence’s team.

Mr Short appeared in response to a committee subpoena, according to three people familiar with the developments, making him the most senior person around Mr Pence who is known to have cooperated with the investigation.

Investigators believe the participation of the former vice president and his inner circle is essential, as Mr. Pence resisted a pressure campaign by former President Donald J. Trump to use his role as president of the official tally of congressional electoral votes in an attempt to nullify the 2020 election.

Mr. Short was with Mr. Pence on January 6 as a mob of Mr. Trump supporters attacked the Capitol and has first-hand knowledge of efforts by Mr. Trump and his allies to try to persuade the former vice president. to cast legitimate electoral votes for Joseph R. Biden Jr. in favor of bogus pro-Trump voter lists.

People spoke on condition of anonymity about Mr Short’s testimony, which was earlier reported by CNN.

Investigators have Been in high stakes negotiations for months with Mr. Pence’s team to find out if he would cooperate with the investigation. In recent weeks, they have sought the cooperation of Mr Short and Greg Jacob, Mr Pence’s former lawyer.

Mr. Short and Mr. Jacob were both closely involved in Mr. Pence’s consideration of whether to go along with Mr. Trump’s insistence that he try to block the official tally of the Electoral College results by a joint session of Congress. Three days before the procedure, the two men met John Eastmana lawyer then advising Mr. Trump, over a memo Mr. Eastman had written explaining why Mr. Pence had the authority to suspend certification.

As a mob attacked the Capitol building chanting “Hang Mike Pence,” Mr. Eastman sent a hostile email to Mr. Jacob, accusing Mr. Pence of the violence.

“The ‘siege’ is because YOU and your boss failed to do what was necessary to allow this to be released publicly so that the American people could see for themselves what happened,” he said. said the lawyer. Mr. Eastmanwrote to M. Jacob.

Mr. Eastman has since invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination to challenge the committee’s subpoena.

Keith Kellogg, a retired lieutenant general who was Mr. Pence’s national security adviser, also testified before the committee. Mr. Kellogg told investigators that when rioters stormed the Capitol on January 6, Mr. Trump dismissed his appeals as well as those of Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, and Kayleigh McEnany, the press secretary, to call at the end. to violence. He said Ivanka Trump, Mr Trump’s eldest daughter and adviser, also tried to intervene at least twice.

Mr. Kellogg said he and Mrs. Trump also witnessed a phone call in the Oval Office on the morning of Jan. 6 in which Mr. Trump pressured Mr. Pence to agree to a plan to reject electoral votes. Mr Kellogg told the committee the president had accused Mr Pence of not being “tough enough” to overturn the election.

Mrs. Trump then turned to Mr. Kellogg and said, “Mike Pence is a good man,” Mr. Kellogg said.

The developments come as Mr Trump continued to criticize Mr Pence for refusing to accept calls to void the 2020 election.

“Mike Pence had the right to change the result, and now they want to take it right away,” Trump said in a statement, referring to a group of senators who are discussing the overhaul of the voter count law. to clarify that the vice president cannot unilaterally change election results. “Unfortunately he didn’t exercise that power, he could have overturned the election!”

Mr Trump also told a rally over the weekend that he could offer forgiveness to defendants charged in connection with the January 6 riot, and that he would stage further protests if charged with a crime.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Pence's former chief of staff testified before the January 6 committee
Pence's former chief of staff testified before the January 6 committee
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