Mark Meadows to Cooperate With Jan. 6 Committee
WASHINGTON — Mark Meadows, the former North Carolina congressman and House Freedom Caucus chair, is now the highest ranking member of the Trump administration acknowledged to be cooperating with the Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2020, siege at the U.S. Capitol.
“Mr. Meadows has been engaging with the Select Committee through his attorney,” said committee chairman Bennie G. Thompson, D-Miss., in a brief written statement Tuesday afternoon. “He has produced records to the committee and will soon appear for an initial deposition.”
In the past, members of the committee have suggested they were receiving cooperation from individuals tied to the insurrection by loyalists of former President Donald Trump, but they’ve never specified who those individuals were or even if they were Trump administration officials.
Meadows was Trump’s White House chief of staff at the time of the attack on the Capitol, and as such, would presumably have detailed knowledge of the former president’s statements and actions before, during and after the events of Jan. 6.
Details of the agreement Meadows may have struck with the committee have not been made public.
Thompson, in his statement, said “the Select Committee expects all witnesses, including Mr. Meadows, to provide all information requested and that the Select Committee is lawfully entitled to receive.”
“The committee will continue to assess his degree of compliance with our subpoena after the deposition,” Thompson added.
The Well News has reached out to Meadow’s lawyer, George Terwilliger III, for comment and any details of his client’s interactions with the committee that he feels he can disclose.
The bipartisan Select Committee has been investigating the attack on the Capitol since last summer.
The revolt left five people dead and another 140 members of law enforcement injured.
Earlier this month Terwilliger was adamant his client would not comply with the committee’s subpoena so long as Trump was pursuing his bid to have any White House records related to Jan. 6 declared barred from exposure due to executive privilege.
“Our correspondence over the last few weeks shows a sharp legal dispute with the committee. The issues concern whether Mr. Meadows can be compelled to testify and whether, even if he could, that he could be forced to answer questions that involve privileged communications,” Terwilliger said in a statement at the time.
On Tuesday morning, a three-judge federal appeals court panel held a nearly four-hour hearing on Trump’s claims of executive privilege.
Trump’s lawyers argued the legal doctrine shields some internal executive branch material from congressional scrutiny.
But President Biden rejected Trump’s claim and said it’s up to the National Archives, which holds Trump’s papers, to comply with the Select Committee’s request for the documents.
During Tuesday’s hearing, Trump’s attorneys argued the federal courts are the proper venue for settling the dispute between the current and former presidents.
But U.S. Circuit Judges Patricia Millett, Robert Wilkins and Ketanji Brown Jackson appeared to disagree, questioning whether they have any role in the matter once the current president has already waived the right of executive privilege of a predecessor.
Meadows represented North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District from 2013 to 2020. A Tea Party Republican, he was a founding member of the Freedom Caucus and served as its chair from 2017 to 2019.
During his years in Congress, he was considered among the body’s most ardently conservative members. As such, not only did he play a key role in the federal government shutdown of 2013, but he also was a critical member of the faction that brought down former Republican Speaker John Boehner.
Even before he resigned from Congress on March 5, 2020, to join the White House staff, he was an ardent supporter, often showing up and taking a seat at Trump’s first impeachment trial.
Dan can be reached at [email protected] and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue
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