Liz Cheney asks if Trump organized attack on Capitol 1:13
(WAB NEWS) – Former Donald Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows is cooperating with the House Select Committee investigating the Jan.6 attack and is providing records and agreeing to appear for an initial interview, he learned. exclusively on CNN.
The move represents a critical shift in the relationship between Trump’s top ally and the panel, and prevents a criminal contempt referral for now.RELATED
“Mr. Meadows has engaged with the Select Commission through his attorney,” Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, who chairs the commission, said in a statement.
“He has submitted records to the commission and will appear soon for an initial deposition. The Select Commission expects that all witnesses, including Mr. Meadows, will provide all requested information and that the Select Commission is legally entitled to receive. The commission will continue to report. evaluate your degree of compliance with our subpoena after the testimony. “
Meadows attorney George Terwilliger said in a statement to CNN that there is now an understanding between the two parties on how information can be exchanged in the future, stating that his client and the commission are open to engaging on a certain set of issues. as they go about figuring out how to deal with information that the commission is seeking that could fall under executive privilege.
But the deal could be fragile if the two parties cannot agree on what is inside information.
News of the understanding comes as Trump’s attorneys argued in front of a federal appeals court in Washington that the former president should be able to assert executive privilege over the commission’s records.
“As we have from the beginning, we continue to work with the Select Commission and its staff to see if we can come to an arrangement that does not require Mr. Meadows to relinquish executive privilege or lose the long-standing position of advisors. White House seniors cannot be compelled to testify before Congress, “Terwilliger said. “We appreciate the opening of the Select Commission to receive voluntary responses on non-privileged issues.”
Mark Meadows has shown a new stance in the House
Terwilliger’s disclosure comes as multiple sources tell CNN that Meadows has shown a willingness to cooperate and has taken a new stance with the commission. The deal is a significant step in the once-stagnant relationship that comes after months of back and forth between the two parties.
Although Meadows has begun to engage with the commission in a more serious way, the extent to which it will cooperate fully and the question of what it will attempt to claim as executive privilege is still up for grabs, according to multiple sources. The agreement means that the commission will refrain from pursuing criminal contempt against it, although that route always remains a possibility, as this fragile step forward could be temporary.
“It is not wrong to say that he has cooperated to some extent, but he has not fully fulfilled his obligation and we need to see what happens. But Meadows does not want to be looked down upon,” a source familiar with the process told CNN.
Her commitment to the Commission stands in stark contrast to Steve Bannon, who is charged with two counts of contempt of Congress for failing to testify and fail to deliver documents in response to a Commission subpoena, and former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, on whom she is charged. The commission will vote on a criminal contempt referral report this Wednesday.
“It’s fair to say he’s not Bannon and he’s not Clark … and he doesn’t want to be,” the source said. “But how much he is cooperating and how much he will cooperate remains an open question. He has done some things … but he has not fulfilled all of his obligations … and it is still not entirely clear how much he will cooperate.”
“We can tell the difference between someone who is procrastinating or faking, we do not believe that is what is happening here,” added the source.
In recent weeks, panel members have said that many of the questions they have for Meadows have nothing to do with Trump, suggesting that the panel is still open to discussing the terms of a possible interview.
Democratic Rep. Pete Aguilar, who is on the panel, told CNN earlier this month that Meadows may have a “minor claim” to executive privilege on some conversations, but stressed that the committee has questions for him that “don’t have. nothing to do with the conversations he had directly with the president. “
“His conversations about how to stop a free and fair election, about how to criticize and stop the electoral vote counting, about his coordination with campaign officials on private devices that were not handed over, all of those topics are not worthy of privilege and he has some explanations, “added the California Democrat.
Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Maryland Democrat and another select committee member, also told CNN earlier this month that the commission has “a lot of questions (for Meadows) that have nothing to do with Trump personally.”