US National Archives Readying Release of Former VP Pence's Records to Jan. 6 Panel
© AP Photo / Patrick SemanskyFormer Vice President Mike Pence speaks about educational freedom at Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Va., Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021.
© AP Photo / Patrick Semansky
Marc Short, who served as chief of staff for former US Vice President Mike Pence, responded to a subpoena last week and testified before the House Select Committee probing the deadly US Capitol riot on January 6, 2021. As the 9-member panel continues to hold sessions with key witnesses, it remains unclear whether Pence will testify.
The US National Archives is readying the release of former Vice President Mike Pence's White House records to the US House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol, the body investigating the deadly US Capitol riot, according to a memo issued approximately two weeks after former US President Donald Trump's records were released to the panel.
While some vice presidential records do qualify for certain restrictions "they are not subject to claims of the presidential communications privilege," noted White House counsel Dana Remus, who ordered the release.
"Many of the records as to which the former President has made a claim of privilege in this set of documents, however, were communications concerning the former Vice President’s responsibilities as President of the Senate in certifying the vote of presidential electors on January 6, 2021," Remus wrote.
Unless blocked via court order or presidential intervention, the records will be delivered 30 days after the memo (March 3, 2022).
David S. Ferriero, the 10th Archivist of the United States, alerted Trump of the intended transfer.
Pence is considered a crucial witness in the House Select Committee investigation, as it is partly looking into the details surrounding Trump's hours-long absence from public view amid the chaos created by his supporters.
The decision comes days after Trump unsuccessfully attempted to block the release of more than 100 documents, citing executive privilege.
The US Supreme Court promptly rejected the request, with the majority declaring, "whether and in what circumstances a former president may obtain a court order preventing disclosure of privileged records from his tenure in office, in the face of a determination by the incumbent president to waive the privilege."
6 January 2022, 09:48 GMT
Although it was made clear that some supporters were threatening violence against Pence, who was leading the Senate in the certification of Electoral College votes, it remains unclear whether the former vice president will voluntarily cooperate with the panel's investigation.
Citing sources said to be familiar with Pence's feelings on the matter, the New York Times reported last month that the former VP has grown increasingly disillusioned with the idea of assisting with the probe, due to the 9-member panel's partisan divide, and potential criminal referrals to the US Department of Justice.
At the same time, informal conversations between the House Select Committee and Pence's lawyers have been ongoing since the panel's formation last summer.
1 February 2022, 03:44 GMT
Short, Pence's former chief of staff, testified before the panel on Wednesday, January 26, in response to the group's subpoena. While details about his hourslong session remain unknown, it is known that Short was inside the US Capitol building with Pence on January 6, 2021, as both had to be evacuated during the incident.
Additionally, Greg Jacob, former counsel to Pence, met with the House Select Committee on Tuesday.