Reviewing the recent developments in the House select committee's investigation into the Jan. 6 insurrection and Donald Trump's efforts to steal the 2020 presidential election, CNN political analyst Stephen Collinson claimed it could be former Vice President Mike Pence and his staffers who could do the most damage to the former president.
Claiming there appears to be a growing rift between Pence's people and Trump's, Collinson said the former VP is facing a "dilemma" over whether to turn on the man who tapped him as his running mate or to continue to defend him and tie his political future to the embattled ex-president.
Pointing to CNN's reporting that Pence's former chief of staff Marc Short "had given lengthy testimony under subpoena last week," the analyst added it, "represents one of the most significant signs of momentum for the committee so far. It drives Pence and congressional investigators inexorably toward a fateful dilemma -- over whether the ex-vice president who blocked Trump's coup as the last resort in Congress will testify about his experience."
Writing, "Short may be the most significant witness" to speak to the committee, Collinson wrote that his testimony could be highly damaging to Trump and his inner circle, with the analyst adding that Short's appearance under subpoena has "widened the schism between Pence's team and several Trump acolytes who have defied the panel at the risk of criminal prosecution. That split may finally blow the inside story of January 6 wide open."
"Testimony by an ultra-loyal aide to Pence will inevitably fan fresh speculation on whether the former vice president will be called to testify. Even for a panel that is probing one of the most notorious days in American history, such a step would be a significant escalation," he wrote. "Pence is potentially the most eye-catching possible witness other than Trump himself. His testimony would carry greater weight with the public than that of lower-ranked officials. But it would also likely destroy the political balance he's trying to strike between explaining his actions on January 6, 2021, and preserving his own political future with a Trump-loving base."
Collinson also added that he expects the report to come out on the House select committee to be explosive.
"Recent leaps forward by the committee, including testimony from key players and a Supreme Court victory over Trump that unlocked a stash of White House documents, have increased the likelihood of a comprehensive report on January 6 that could shock the public, and potentially damage the ex-President's comeback hopes," he wrote.
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