Meadows reaches initial cooperation deal with Jan. 6 committee
Former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has reached an initial deal to cooperate with the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, providing documents and agreeing to testify before lawmakers as the panel prepares to censure its second witness for failing to comply with its requests.
“Mr. Meadows has been engaging with the Select Committee through his attorney. He has produced records to the committee and will soon appear for an initial deposition,” Chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said Tuesday.
“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.”
The tenuous agreement comes as the committee is poised to censure its second witness. The committee announced Monday that it will hold a vote later this week to censure former Justice Department attorney Jeffrey Clark after he failed to cooperate with the committee — a move that would leave his former employer to prosecute him alongside one-time White House strategist Steve Bannon.
While the agreement may help Meadows dodge the same immediate outcome, both sides appeared to hint at the potential for the deal to unravel.
“As we have from the beginning, we continue to work with the Select Committee and its staff to see if we can reach an accommodation that does not require Mr. Meadows to waive Executive Privilege or to forfeit the long-standing position that senior White House aides cannot be compelled to testify before Congress,” Meadows’ attorney, George Terwilliger, said in a statement.
“We appreciate the Select Committee’s openness to receiving voluntary responses on non-privileged topics,” he added.
CNN was the first to report the deal with Meadows.
Meadows is a central figure in the committee’s probe, appearing to be deeply involved with former President Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
Subpoenas sent by the committee to Meadows and others in his orbit target the former chief’s involvement in Trump’s election efforts at the Department of Justice; in Georgia where Trump pressured the secretary of state there to “find” 11,780 more votes; and in the planning of rallies just before Trump supporters stormed the Capitol.
Meadows was said to be “engaging” with the committee since he was first subpoenaed in September.
But the panel later ratcheted up the pressure, sending subpoenas to a number of those who worked closely with Meadows at the White House just days before demanding he appear for a Nov. 12 deposition.
Meadows and other former aides were directed by Trump to not cooperate with the committee.
While Trump claims the committee’s work would violate his executive privilege, the committee has argued former presidents retain no power to restrict congressional access to records. Trump has thus far only disputed access to his presidential records, appealing a federal district judge decision siding with the committee.
Meadows broke his silence earlier this month just after DOJ scored a grand jury indictment against Bannon for contempt of Congress.
“He’s exerted, and rightfully so, his executive privilege. And it’s not up to me to waive it. And so it’s got me between a rock and a hard space,” Meadows said in a recent interview with Fox News.
“These are complex legal matters that I’m going to let the attorneys hopefully work out in a spirit of accommodation,” he added.
The committee will meet Wednesday to vote on whether to refer Clark to DOJ for prosecution for contempt of Congress, a matter that would then need to be considered by the full House.
“We will act this week,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told reporters Tuesday on whether the panel votes to prosecute.
Updated 3:40 p.m.
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