Marc Short, a top aide to former Vice President Mike Pence, testified in front of a federal grand jury last week investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, becoming the highest-ranking member of the Trump administration to do so thus far, according to multiple reports.
Short, who served as Pence’s chief of staff for almost two years, confirmed to ABC News and CNN that he had testified before a grand jury convened by the Department of Justice after he was served with a subpoena.
“I can confirm that I did receive a subpoena for the federal grand jury, and I complied to that subpoena,” he told CNN on Monday. “But under advice of counsel, I really can’t say much more than that.”
It’s unclear what information Short shared during his testimony, but his appearance is a significant moment in the Justice Department’s investigation into the events leading to the assault on the Capitol. The New York Times added that another top official, Greg Jacob, who was Short’s counsel in the Trump White House, also appeared before the grand jury.
Short was a key witness to the chaotic final days of the Trump administration as Donald Trump attempted to remain in power, pressuring those around him to find ways to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Short was in the Oval Office on Jan. 4, 2021, when Trump had lawyer John Eastman attempt to convince Pence to delay the certification of the Electoral College vote. That plan involved the vice president making false assertions that there were issues with electoral votes that had been certified for Joe Biden, who won the 2020 race. (Pence declined to go along with the plan.)
Prosecutors in several investigations have homed in on schemes to create a false slate of electors that would have cast their ballots for Trump instead. Eastman and other lawyers involved in the plan, including Rudy Giuliani and the Justice Department’s Jeffrey Clark, have also been subject to investigation.
Short was also in the Capitol with Pence on Jan. 6 as the vice president was forced to flee from pro-Trump rioters who stormed the building, some of whom were chanting, “Hang Mike Pence.”
Short has already cooperated with the House select committee that is also investigating the events surrounding the Jan. 6 attack.
The Justice Department investigation has been largely under wraps compared with the House inquiry and its public hearings, but the agency in March was said to have expanded its criminal probe of the Jan. 6 attack to include preparations for the rally that preceded the insurrection.
Other grand jury subpoenas have been issued to those who helped organize and plan the rally. Attorney General Merrick Garland said last week that the Justice Department would “hold accountable every person who is criminally responsible for trying to overturn a legitimate election, and we must do it in a way filled with integrity and professionalism.”