It’s unclear what exactly Short told the committee, but he’s seen as a key witness and the testimony he gave last Wednesday was “lengthy,” according to one of CNN’s sources. Short was with Pence in the Capitol on Jan. 6 and participated in a relevant White House meeting two days earlier.
The Jan. 6 committee has for months now been investigating former President Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Pence was central to those efforts. Trump and his conspirators pushed Pence to block the certification of the election results on Jan. 6, to no avail. His refusal to carry out the scheme detailed in a memo penned by former Trump lawyer John Eastman turned him into a pariah among the MAGA faithful. Some Trump supporters even chanted “Hang Mike Pence!” as they stormed the Capitol. Trump defended them. “Well, the people were very angry,” Trump told Jonathan Karl of ABC News.
Trump’s latest snipe at Pence came Sunday night, when he released a statement complaining that Pence didn’t make an effort to block the certification. “He could have overturned the Election!” Trump concluded.
So, yeah, Pence isn’t on the best of terms with Trump — he recently told Jesse Watters of Fox News that they hadn’t spoken since last summer — but that doesn’t mean he’s going to appear before the committee himself. In fact, he’s probably not. Multiple sources told CNN that Pence would rather aides like Short serve as his “proxy” so he doesn’t have to testify.
Axios reported in early January that many of these aides, including Short, were indeed cooperating with the probe. One of Axios’ sources noted that Short would not have cooperated without first receiving permission from Pence himself. Short’s appearance last Wednesday was the result of months of talks between the committee and Short’s lawyer, Emmet Flood, who briefly served as White House counsel under Trump.
Short also provided the committee with documents prior to testifying last week, including a memo from White House personnel director Johnny McEntee about Trump and Thomas Jefferson, according to CNN. The existence of the memo, which was intended to convince Pence to try to stop the election certification on Jan. 6, was initially reported by Karl back in November. “Jefferson used his position as VP to win,” the memo was titled, according to Karl.