Former Trump Aides Spotted After Reportedly Testifying Before Jan. 6 Grand Jury

Marc Short and Kash Patel were both seen at a courthouse where the grand jury investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riots was convened

Kash Patel, Marc Short
Kash Patel (left), Marc Short. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty; Alex Wong/Getty

Two former Trump White House aides were spotted Thursday after reportedly testifying in the Justice Department's criminal probe of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riots.

Marc Short, the former chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, and Kash Patel, former adviser and national security aide, were both seen on Thursday at the courthouse where the grand jury was convening, CNN reports.

CNN reports that Short has testified in the investigation twice but had "originally declined to answer some questions because of former President Donald Trump's claims of executive privilege."

According to the outlet, Short declined to answer questions when a reporter saw him exiting the courthouse, saying only: "I got nothing to offer you."

Patel also did not answer questions from reporters after being spotted at the courthouse.

Short confirmed his earlier testimony in a July appearance on CNN, telling OutFront host Erin Burnett: "I can confirm that I did receive a subpoena for the federal grand jury, and I complied to that subpoena. But under advice of counsel, I really can't say much more than that."

Patel, meanwhile, has parroted the former president's claims about the election being stolen from him, also at times promoting conspiracy theories about the "deep state."

The federal grand jury is hearing testimony related to the riots and to efforts by Donald Trump and his allies to overturn the 2020 presidential election. It is separate from the bipartisan House committee investigating the riots, which held a hearing Thursday.

The New York Times reported in July that Greg Jacob, who served as Pence's counsel, also testified before the grand jury.

The testimony of those close to Pence is an indication that the Justice Department's criminal investigation into Jan. 6 is intensifying.

Trump's ire at Pence was central to the events of Jan. 6, with the former president holding a rally hours before the Capitol was breached and publicly pushing Pence to overturn the results of the November election in his favor, after numerous legal attempts to contest the results failed in courts across the country.

"Mike Pence, I hope you get to stand up for the good of our Constitution and for the good of our country, and if you're not, I'm going to be very disappointed in you," Trump said during the now-infamous "Stop the Steal" rally.

Instead, Pence released a lengthy statement breaking with the president, just moments ahead of a joint session of Congress to ratify the electoral vote.

"It is my considered judgment that my oath to support and defend the Constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not," the statement read.

Pence's statement was released just as he and congressional lawmakers began to gather in the House of Representatives chamber to begin the counting of Electoral College votes.

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Roughly an hour into the electoral process, Trump's supporters outside had overpowered police and forced their way into the building in a scene that eventually led to the deaths of four people as well as the evacuation of Congress and Pence himself, who was whisked to an undisclosed location.

Footage of the rioters would later show some of Trump's supporters shouting "Hang Mike Pence" — a cry that Trump allegedly endorsed, according to those who have testified under oath about the events of that day.

Trump is currently mired in multiple investigations, including both the grand jury investigation and the House bipartisan investigation of that day.

Thursday's bipartisan committee hearing ended in a unanimous vote to subpoena Trump himself for testimony and documents related to the investigation.

Experts say it is unlikely Trump would testify, though the dramatic moment in Thursday's hearing could still have legal fallout: If Trump does not testify, the committee would vote on whether to hold Trump in contempt of court, and could then send the matter on to the Department of Justice.

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