Former top Pence aide Marc Short has now testified — again — before a federal grand jury working on investigations of pro-Trump meddling efforts after the last election, according to a new report from The Washington Post.
Short answered questions on Thursday after an attempt by Trump to block his testimony failed in court. “Short had appeared before a grand jury in downtown Washington in July, but declined to answer certain questions after [Short’s lawyer Emmet] Flood argued the communications of top White House advisers are protected — and presented written documentation from Trump’s lawyers that they were asserting executive privilege,” the Post explains, citing sources. The written documentation contrasts with Steve Bannon’s case, where a Trump lawyer undercut the Trump ally’s claims of executive privilege with details provided to the Justice Department, like that no specific contentions of privilege (relevant to the case) were made. A follow-up letter from Trump claiming he was lifting privilege claims was suspected of being meant to bolster the idea privilege claims covering Bannon’s testimony were originally made at all. Bannon faces sentencing for a contempt of Congress conviction connected to his refusal to comply with the House riot investigation.
After a request for action made by the Justice Department following Flood’s resistance to Short answering certain questions before the jury, federal Judge Beryl Howell ruled in favor of Short testifying anyway, which Trump appealed to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, where Trump failed to get Short’s testimony put on hold amid further litigation over his executive privilege claims. The appeals court ruled against him. Rulings from Howell and the appeals court against Trump’s objections weren’t available publicly on Friday. The content of Short’s latest round of testimony wasn’t clear. He has also provided information to the House committee investigating January 6, as have other prominent aides in the Trump White House. His position close to Pence during the riot would have potentially allowed Short access to information about threats the then-vice president faced, along with pressure from Trump and various allies of his who wanted Pence to take procedural action in Congress to block Biden’s win from moving through the certification process.