Meadows Agrees to Collaborate on Capitol Attack Investigation

WASHINGTON — Mark Meadows, the former White House chief of staff under President Donald J. Trump, has reached an agreement with the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol to provide documents and issue a statement, the panel said Tuesday. , a stunning turn of events for a pivotal witness in the investigation.

The change of stance from Mr. Meadows, who had previously refused to cooperate with the committee in accordance with a directive from Mr. Trump, came as the panel prepared to file criminal contempt for Congress’ charges against a second witness who withheld his subpoenas. It marked a turning point after weeks of private bickering between the former chief of staff and the select committee over whether he would participate in the investigation, and to what extent.

“Mr. Meadows has been in contact with the select committee through his attorney,” Mississippi Democrat Bennie G. Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat and panel chair, said in a statement. first statement.”

Mr Thompson indicated that he had no opinion on whether Mr Meadows was willing to cooperate sufficiently, adding: “The commission will continue to assess his compliance with our subpoena after the impeachment.”

His statement is expected to be private, as has been the panel’s practice with other witnesses.

Meadows’ attorney, George J. Terwilliger III, also suggested there were strict limits to his client’s willingness to participate in the investigation.

“As we have done from the beginning, we will continue to work with the select committee and its staff to see if we can achieve a property that does not require Mr. Meadows to relinquish administrative law or forfeit the long-standing position that senior assistants of the State Department have held. White House cannot be forced to testify before Congress,” Terwilliger said in a statement. “We appreciate the select committee’s openness to receiving voluntary responses to non-privileged topics.”

CNN previously reported that Mr. Meadows made a deal with the panel.

Citing a claim of executing privilege from Mr. Trump, Mr. Meadows’ attorney, Mr. Terwilliger wrote to the commission on Nov. 10 that his client could not testify “in good faith” out of “appreciation for our constitutional system and the separation of powers’, claiming that this would undermine ‘the office and everyone who holds it’.

That position was condemned by the committee’s leaders, Mr. Thompson and Representative Liz Cheney, Republican of Wyoming and the vice chair, who accused Mr. Meadows of defying a lawful subpoena. They said they would consider suing contempt to enforce it.

Mr. Thompson and Ms. Cheney called Mr. Trump’s privilege claims “spurious,” adding that many of the matters they sought to discuss with Mr. Meadows “are not even conceivable subject to any privilege claim, even if there were .”

One of their questions, they said, was whether he was using a private cellphone to communicate on Jan. 6 and the location of his text messages from that day.

The select committee issued a subpoena in September for Mr Meadows’ data and testimony, citing his involvement in planning efforts to undermine the results of the 2020 election. In the final weeks of Trump’s tenure, Mr. Meadows repeatedly urged the Justice Department to investigate baseless conspiracy theories, according to emails to Congress, parts of which were reviewed by The New York Times. He was also in contact with organizers of the January 6 rally that preceded the violence, including Amy Kremer of Women for America First, the committee said.

The commission is expected to begin Wednesday with contempt of congressional proceedings against Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department official implicated in Mr Trump’s attempt to disrupt the election.

The vote would be the second such confrontation between the commission and an ally of Mr. Trump since Congress began investigating the circumstances surrounding the Capitol riot, which resulted in multiple deaths and dozens of injuries.

The House voted in October to recommend that another Trump aide, Stephen K. Bannon, be charged with criminal contempt of Congress for obstructing the investigation.

A federal grand jury subsequently indicted him on two counts that could lead to a total of up to two years behind bars.

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