Ex-Trump Aide Now Working With Jan. 6 Panel

Mark Meadows, Trump's chief of staff, avoids a possible contempt charge
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 30, 2021 12:49 PM CST
Former Trump Aide Cooperating With Jan. 6 Panel
Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows in October 2020.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Donald Trump's former chief of staff is cooperating with a House panel investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, putting off for now the panel's threat to hold him in contempt. But the panel “will continue to assess (Mark Meadows') degree of compliance,” said Rep. Bennie Thompson, the panel's chairman, per the AP. The agreement comes after two months of negotiations between Meadows and the committee and after the Justice Department indicted Trump ally Steve Bannon for defying a subpoena. Thompson said Meadows has produced records and will soon appear for a deposition.

“The Select Committee expects all witnesses, including Mr. Meadows, to provide all information requested and that the Select Committee is lawfully entitled to receive,” Thompson said. Meadows' lawyer, George Terwilliger, said he was continuing to work with the committee on a “potential accommodation” that would not require Meadows to waive executive privilege or “forfeit the long-standing position that senior White House aides cannot be compelled to testify before Congress," as Trump has argued.

The tentative agreement with Meadows highlights the committee's efforts to balance its need for information about Trump's role in the violent insurrection with the former president's assertions—including in an ongoing court case—that Congress cannot obtain information about his private conversations with top aides at the time. The committee has scheduled a vote for Wednesday to pursue contempt charges against a separate witness, former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, after he appeared for a deposition and declined to answer questions.

(More Mark Meadows stories.)

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