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Former Pence chief of staff meets with House January 6 committee

Trump suggests pardoning Capitol rioters
Trump suggests pardoning Capitol rioters if re-elected 02:23

Former Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff Marc Short testified last week before the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol, two sources familiar with the meeting told CBS News. 

Short's testimony came in response to a subpoena from the committee, one of the sources said.

Short was with Pence in the Capitol on January 6 as pro-Trump rioters overtook the building and the pair were forced  to evacuate to a safe location within the Capitol complex. Trump had publicly and privately pressured Pence to reject the election results in certain states won by Joe Biden, but Pence issued a statement saying he could not do so. 

Pence certified the Electoral College count at 3:40 a.m. on Thursday, January 7, more than 14 hours after the joint session began. 

A spokesperson for the committee declined to comment.  The news of Short's cooperation with the committee was first reported by CNN.

Vice President Pence Holds Coronavirus Briefing With Health Insurers
Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, listens during a coronavirus briefing with health insurers in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, March 10, 2020.  Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The committee is also looking to speak with Pence himself. Congressman Bennie Thompson, the panel's chair, told NPR in early January that the committee could request a meeting with the former vice president by the end of the month.

The meeting with Short represents another senior administration official adding to the trove of records the committee is building. 

Congressman Jamie Raskin, who sits on the January 6 select committee, said earlier this month that the committee has interviewed 400 witnesses and has obtained over 50,000 documents.

Trump has repeatedly bashed the committee and continued to spread unfounded theories about election fraud. He said at a rally in Texas on Saturday that he would pardon people charged with criminal offenses connected to the January 6 attack. 

"Those were outrageous comments," said Representative Ted Lieu, who served as an impeachment manager in Trump's second impeachment trial. "It is traitorous conduct for the former president to say he now wants to pardon them."

The committee has issued dozens of subpoenas, including ones to Trump's allies, former White House officials, campaign aides and individuals involved in the planning of the rally outside the White House before the Capitol building came under siege. Two top Trump allies, Steve Bannon and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, have been held in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with subpoenas, and the Justice Department has charged Bannon. Both said they are following instructions from Trump, who has claimed executive privilege.  

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi created the House select committee last year to investigate the January 6 attack, when thousands of Trump supporters descended on the Capitol as Congress counted the electoral votes, a largely ceremonial final step affirming President Biden's victory. Lawmakers were sent fleeing amid the riot, which led to the deaths of five people and the arrests of hundreds more. Trump, who encouraged his supporters to "walk over" to the Capitol during the Stop the Steal rally, was impeached by the House one week later for inciting the riot but was later acquitted by the Senate. The panel has interviewed 400 witnesses and has obtained over 50,000 documents, according to Raskin. 

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