Click here to read the full article.
The Jan. 6 committee said it will hold former Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in contempt if he does not show for a scheduled deposition Wednesday after he told the panel he no longer wished to cooperate with its investigation.
In a statement issued late Tuesday, Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.) and Vice Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) wrote: “Mark Meadows has informed the Select Committee that he does not intend to cooperate further with our investigation despite his apparent willingness to provide details about the facts and circumstances surrounding the Jan. 6 attack, including conversations with President Trump, in the book he is now promoting and selling.”
Meadows’ attorney told Fox News he would not continue cooperating with the committee just a week after its chair announced that Meadows had “produced records to the committee and will soon appear for an initial deposition.” It also comes as reports are emerging that Trump feels betrayed by his former chief of staff for divulging damning details about the reality of Trump’s bout with Covid in his new book.
“We have made efforts over many weeks to reach an accommodation with the committee,” Meadows’s attorney George Terwilliger told Fox News, claiming that the committee hasn’t been willing to compromise. According to his lawyer, Meadows had hoped to testify voluntarily to the panel while still claiming executive privilege.
Terwilliger also told Fox News that Meadows was worried by recent a comment by Thompson. “The chairman of the committee … publicly said that another witness’s claiming of the Fifth Amendment would be tantamount to an admission of guilt,” Terwilliger said.
Thompson was discussing former Trump Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark on MSNBC when he commented on Clark’s decision to use the Fifth Amendment to get out of answering certain questions from the committee. “If he is saying, ‘I’ll come but I’ll plead the Fifth,’ in some instances that says you are part and parcel guilty to what occurred,” Thompson said.
Terwilliger said that remark called into question “exactly what is going on with this committee.”
When Fox asked him how Meadows would respond if he were to be charged with contempt of Congress like Trump’s former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, Terwilliger said Meadows will “cross that bridge when he comes to it.” Meadows, he said, “has made every effort to try and accommodate and work with this committee” while still claiming executive privilege that Terwilliger said “he must maintain.”
The Jan. 6 panel approved contempt of Congress charges for Clark before announcing last week that his upcoming deposition had been rescheduled due to a medical condition. Committee members have said that Meadows’ privilege claims may be null if he discussed the events of Jan. 6 in his book The Chief’s Chief, which came out Tuesday. It’s “very possible that by discussing the events of Jan. 6 in his book, if he does that, he’s waiving any claim of privilege,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) told Politico last week. “So, it’d be very difficult for him to maintain ‘I can’t speak about events to you, but I can speak about them in my book.’ “
The former chief of staff has reportedly drawn Trump’s ire in the past week as revelations from his book have made news. Last week, news broke that, according to Meadows, Trump tested positive for Covid before he debated Joe Biden, days before the White House announced his diagnosis. That led Trump to call the book “fake news,” and led Meadows to try walking back the story, calling his own book “fake news.” But that apparently wasn’t enough. According to Maggie Haberman of The New York Times, Trump is now saying he hates the book and feels betrayed by his former chief of staff.