Capitol Riot Probe: Mark Meadows to Cease Cooperation With Jan. 6 Panel
Donald Trump's last chief of staff earlier said he would cooperate with the select committee investigating the January Capitol riot. The committee's chairman Bennie Thompson said in late November that Meadows was expected to soon appear for an initial deposition.
Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows will no longer cooperate with the January 6 Committee, his attorney revealed in a letter to the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the US Capitol.
Meadows appeared to change his mind on cooperating with the panel over the committee having "no intention of respecting boundaries concerning Executive Privilege".
"Over the last several weeks, Mr. Meadows has consistently sought in good faith to pursue an accommodation with the Select Committee and up until yesterday we believed that could be obtained", the letter from Meadows' attorney George Terwilliger read. "We acted on the belief that the Select Committee would receive, also in good faith, relevant, responsive but non-privileged facts".
Other things that appeared to contribute to Meadows' change of heart included the panel issuing "wide-ranging subpoenas for information from a third party communications provider", along with remarks by the committee's chairman that Meadows' assertion of his Fifth Amendment right "is tantamount to an admission of guilt".
"It is well-established that Congress’s subpoena authority is limited to the pursuit of a legitimate legislative purpose", Terwilliger wrote. "Congress has no authority to conduct law enforcement investigations or free-standing 'fact finding' missions".
The intention of Meadows to cooperate with the select committee was announced in late November
, and the panel's chairman, Democratic Representative Bennie Thompson, said that the committee expected Meadows to appear for an initial deposition.
Earlier, former Trump White House adviser Steve Bannon refused to comply with the committee's subpoena, ending up being indicted for contempt of Congress.
Terwilliger said he and Meadows will "cross that bridge when [we] come to it", when asked by Fox News about how he and the ex-chief of staff would react to a similar indictment. He, however, underlined that Meadows "has made every effort to try and accommodate and work with this committee".