The former chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence is cooperating with the House panel investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Marc Short was at the Capitol on Jan. 6 and accompanied Pence as he fled his post presiding over the Senate and hid from rioters who were calling for his hanging. Short is cooperating with the panel after receiving a subpoena, according to the person, who was granted anonymity to discuss the private interactions.
Former President Donald Trump was openly criticizing his vice president even as the insurrectionists broke into the building because Pence had said he would not try to unilaterally reject the electoral count as Congress certified President Joe Biden’s victory. Pence didn’t have the legal power to do so, but Trump pressured him anyway.
As Pence’s top aide, Short was also present for several White House meetings ahead of the insurrection. At one point, Trump banned Short from the White House grounds because he objected to the pressure on Pence to reject the legitimate election results.
CNN first reported Short’s cooperation and subpoena.
Some people close to Pence were furious about the way that Trump tried to scapegoat the former vice president on Jan. 6 and became even more incensed after Pence, his closest aides and his family were put in physical danger by the rioters.
Alyssa Farah, who served as Pence’s press secretary before taking on other roles and left her job at the White House before Jan. 6, voluntarily met with Republicans on the House select committee and provided information.
In a series of tweets as the insurrection unfolded, Farah urged Trump to condemn the riots as they were happening and call on his supporters to stand down. “Condemn this now, @realDonaldTrump,” she tweeted. “You are the only one they will listen to. For our country!”
The panel in November subpoenaed Keith Kellogg, who was Pence’s national security adviser, writing in the subpoena that he was with Trump as the attack unfolded and may “have direct information about the former president’s statements about, and reactions to, the Capitol insurrection.” The committee wrote that according to several accounts, Kellogg urged Trump to send out a tweet aimed at helping to control the crowd.
The Jan. 6 panel has spoken to more than 250 witnesses, most of them voluntarily, committee leaders said last week, and plans a series of open hearings next year to make many of their findings public.
The committee has deposed a wide range of people, from Trump’s own aides to organizers of his massive rally that morning to allies outside the White House who strategized how to overturn Biden’s legitimate victory.
The panel has also interviewed election officials in crucial swing states such as Georgia, Arizona, Michigan and Pennsylvania who were pressured by the former president and his allies as he pushed false claims of election fraud.
Trump has derided the committee’s work and continued to make claims about fraud that have been widely rejected by courts and election experts.
— Mary Clare Jalonick and Jill Colvin
Attorney says Meadows won’t cooperate with Jan. 6 panel
In an abrupt reversal, an attorney for former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said his client will not cooperate with a House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, citing a breakdown in negotiations with the panel.
Attorney George Terwilliger said in a letter Tuesday that a deposition would be “untenable” because the Jan. 6 panel “has no intention of respecting boundaries” concerning questions that former President Donald Trump has claimed are off-limits because of executive privilege. Terwilliger also said that he learned over the weekend that the committee had issued a subpoena to a third-party communications provider that he said would include “intensely personal” information.
Terwilliger said in a statement last week that he was continuing to work with the committee and its staff on a potential accommodation that would not require Meadows to waive the executive privileges claimed by Trump or “forfeit the long-standing position that senior White House aides cannot be compelled to testify” before Congress.
“We appreciate the Select Committee’s openness to receiving voluntary responses on non-privileged topics,” he said then.
A spokesperson for the panel did not have immediate comment on Terwilliger’s letter. The committee’s chairman, Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson, said last week that Meadows had been engaging with the panel through his attorney, producing records and agreeing to appear for an initial deposition.
Thompson said the committee would “continue to assess his degree of compliance with our subpoena after the deposition.” He has said that any witnesses who don’t comply will be held in contempt of Congress.
In halting cooperation, Terwilliger also cited comments from Thompson that he said unfairly cast aspersions on witnesses who invoke their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. A separate witness, former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, has said he will invoke those Fifth Amendment rights.
“As a result of careful and deliberate consideration of these factors, we now must decline the opportunity to appear voluntarily for a deposition,” Terwilliger wrote in the letter.
The reversal comes as Meadows has been receiving attention for a new book, released Tuesday, which revealed that Trump received a positive COVID-19 test before a presidential debate and was far sicker than the White House revealed at the time.
Trump — who told his supporters to “fight like hell” before hundreds of his supporters broke into the Capitol and stopped the presidential electoral count — has attempted to hinder much of the committee’s work, including in an ongoing court case, by arguing that Congress cannot obtain information about his private White House conversations.
— Eric Tucker and Mary Clare Jalonick
Associated Press writer Jill Colvin contributed to this report.
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