Mark Meadows, Donald Trump’s Chief of Staff, has abruptly halted his cooperation with the House Select Committee inquiring about the 6th January insurrection on the U.S. Capitol by followers of former US President Donald Trump, according to the letter on Tuesday to the Select Committee from Meadows’ Attorney.
Attorney George Terwilliger said in a letter that they reached an agreement to produce thousands of responsive documents, and Mark Meadows was ready to appear voluntarily, not under compulsion of the House Panel’s subpoena to him, for a deposition to answer the inquiries about non-privileged subjects. Now, actions by the Jan.6 Panel have made such an appearance untenable.
In addition, Lawyer Terwilliger said that briefly, they now have every sign from the information provided to them on Nov. 3, upon which Trump ally could likely to be inquired, that the Panel has no intention of respecting limits concerning Executive-Privilege.
The Select Committee has numerous questions for Mr. Meadows about records he has turned over to the Committee with no claim of privilege, which include real-time communications with many individuals as the events of January 6th unfolded.
— January 6th Committee (@January6thCmte) December 7, 2021
Later, on Tuesday, the panel said that it would proceed with a scheduled interview with Mr. Meadows on Wednesday even though he stated he no longer plans for cooperation. By moving forward with the scheduled interview, the panel is setting up a way to hold former White House Chief of Staff in criminal contempt charges.
How Did Mark Meadows Change His Mind?
In a joint statement, Republican Rep. Liz Cheney and Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson said that the deposition, which was scheduled at Mark Meadows’ request, would proceed as planned. If, indeed, Meadows refuses to appear, the House Panel would be left no option but to advance contempt proceedings and commend that the body in which he once served mention him for criminal prosecution.
On Tuesday evening, Bennie Thompson told CNN that apparently, they’d hoped Meadows would remain working with the panel. But noticeably, based on his attorney’s letter and his intentions not to show up for the interview, that creates a different dynamic.
Meadows is seen as a prominent witness to the former President’s part in attempts to stop the 6th January certification of Mr. Joe Biden’s Presidential election success.
Moreover, Attorney George Terwilliger said that his Mark Meadows’ change of mind came after he learned last weekend that the panel had issued numerous subpoenas for statistics from a third-party communications provider.
Shortly before the 6th January Capitol attack, Donald Trump gave a speech to his followers repeating his unfounded assertions that the Presidential election was stolen from him through massive voter fraud. Moreover, he urged the mob to “fight like hell to stop the steal” and was later impeached for provocation of insurrection on the Capitol.
Trump Ally Steve Bannon to Face Criminal Charges on July 18
On Tuesday, a connected development, a US District Judge Carl Nichols said that Steve Bannon, a longtime Trump ally, will face contempt charges on 18th July for his denial to appear in the congressional investigation into the attack.
The judge set a trial date of 18th July, representing a compromise between Bannon’s lawyers and the government, who each presented competing proposed trial dates.
Mr. Bannon was indicted on one contempt count for declining to appear for a deposition before the House Select Committee and a second count for rejecting to provide documents.