Marc Short, who was a top staffer to Republican former Vice President Mike Pence, has testified before a federal grand jury investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol and efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, ABC News reported on Monday.
Short, who served as Pence’s chief of staff, was seen Friday afternoon leaving the federal courthouse in Washington, alongside his attorney, Emmet Flood. ABC and Reuters cameras both filmed Short’s exit.
Neither Flood nor Short could be immediately reached for comment.
Short is the most high-profile official known to have appeared before the grand jury, which is also investigating the effort by former President Donald Trump’s allies to submit slates of fake electors to overturn the 2020 election. The grand jury convenes on Fridays, according to a copy of a subpoena seen by Reuters that was sent to an elector in Georgia in May of this year.
In an interview with CNN earlier this year, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco confirmed the Justice Department had received referrals about slates of alternative fake electors that were sent to the National Archives, and said prosecutors were reviewing them.
Copies of the phony electoral slates submitted to the National Archives by pro-Trump Republicans in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin were made public in March by the nonprofit watchdog group American Oversight, which obtained them through a public records request.
The Office of the Federal Register, part of the National Archives, coordinates some functions of the Electoral College between the states and Congress, including receiving the certificates from the states that identify their electors and receiving the certificates of votes by the electors.
The fake elector plot has featured prominently in multiple hearings of the Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives committee probing the attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Rusty Bowers, the Arizona state House Republican speaker, testified in June that Trump and his close aides, including his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and adviser John Eastman, urged Bowers to reject the election results.
In recent months, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Washington has started issuing grand jury subpoenas to electors, including some who signed the bogus certificates.
According to one subpoena seen by Reuters that is focused on the phony slate of electors in Georgia, investigators are seeking copies of documents from October 2020 related to “any effort, plan or attempt to serve as an elector in favor of Donald J. Trump and/or Mike R. Pence.”
They are also seeking copies of communications between would-be electors and any federal government employees, any employees or agents of Trump, as well as communications with a long list of people including Giuliani and Eastman.
Arizona’s Republican party chair, Kelli Ward, and her husband, Michael Ward, who both signed their names on one of the slates of alternate electors for Trump, have also received subpoenas.
Alexander Kolodin, an attorney for the Wards, told Reuters earlier this month that the DOJ’s investigation is “based on allegations that our clients engaged in core First Amendment-protected activity, namely petitioning Congress for redress of grievances.”