Domestic Terrorism

Top Pence aides refused direct conversations about Trump with committee: report

Former top aides to Vice President Mike Pence aides reportedly did not discuss any direct conversations with former President Trump while speaking with the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

CNN reported on Thursday that Pence’s aides Marc Short and Greg Jacob declined to answer questions regarding presidential conversations, as the former president’s lawyers believe it should be covered under executive privilege.

However, the news outlet cited the information from three sources familiar with the investigation that the Pence aides only declined to answer a few questions. The report said they did answer questions about conversations they had with the former vice president.

According to CNN, Pence would reportedly prefer if his aides act as the former vice president’s “proxy” so he does not have to appear before the committee. It is unclear whether Pence will cooperate with the investigation.

The report added that deferring to Trump on executive privilege reportedly sends a message to the former president’s camp that Pence and his aides are not going against him.

This comes amid a bitter fight between Trump and the Jan. 6 committee over what he considers to be executive privilege. In January, the Supreme Court rejected Trump‘s bid to block a trove of his administration’s records from being handed to the committee.

Jacob’s contact with the committee on Tuesday came after CNN reported that former Pence chief of staff Short testified before the House panel last week. A source familiar with the matter told the network that the meeting was lengthy.

Jacob was also reportedly part of the group of people opposing conservative lawyer John Eastman, who advised Trump and his team on using Pence to push back on the 2020 election results and encouraging state legislatures to reject electors.

The Washington Post reported in October last year that as the Jan. 6 riot ensued, Eastman emailed Jacob to blame the attack on Pence.

Pence’s aides appearances before the House select committee come as the Biden administration on Wednesday ordered the National Archives to turn over records from Pence despite objections from Trump.

Although vice presidential records do qualify for some public records exemptions that restrict access, “they are not subject to claims of the presidential communications privilege,” White House counsel Dana Remus wrote.

Tags 2020 election Dana Remus Donald Trump jan. 6 Mike Pence Pence aides special committee

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