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Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows cooperating with Jan. 6 committee

Meadows has provided records to the committee investigating the attack on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob and will give a deposition

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows greets Trump supporters on Oct. 31, 2020, during a campaign rally in Reading, Pa. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)
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Mark Meadows, President Donald Trump’s chief of staff at the time of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, is cooperating with the House committee investigating the pro-Trump insurrection, the committee’s chairman, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.), said Tuesday.

“Mr. Meadows has been engaging with the Select Committee through his attorney,” Thompson said in a statement. “He has produced records to the committee and will soon appear for an initial deposition.”

Meadows is the highest-profile member of Trump’s inner circle who is known to be cooperating or who the committee has publicly acknowledged is cooperating. Committee members have previously said many people with connections to the events of that day have voluntarily engaged with investigators, but they have not specified who those individuals are or how high up they were in the Trump administration.

The House select committee investigating the attempted insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6 faces an uphill battle with former Trump administration officials. (Video: Blair Guild/The Washington Post)

Thompson, in his statement, said that the 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,” Thompson concluded.

CNN first reported Meadows’s cooperation.

Details of the deal Meadows struck with the committee were not made public. While Meadows has now produced records for the committee and will sit before it, he could still try to claim executive privilege to protect certain pieces of information, making the cooperation fragile.

In a statement, Meadows’s lawyer, George Terwilliger III, told The Washington Post that Meadows and his team “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.”

“We appreciate the Select Committee’s openness to receiving voluntary responses on non-privileged topics,” Terwilliger said.

The bipartisan committee is investigating the attack on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob determined to stop the affirmation of Joe Biden’s presidential win. The riot left five people dead and injured some 140 members of law enforcement who faced a barrage of sticks, bear spray, flagpoles and other items used as weapons.

Earlier this month, White House Deputy Counsel Jonathan Su sent a letter to Terwilliger notifying him that President Biden will not assert executive privilege or immunity over the documents and deposition requested by the committee related to his client.

As Thompson issued his statement on Meadows, federal judges were questioning whether Trump has the power to go to court to keep White House documents secret from the congressional committee. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit expressed skepticism about the role of the courts in settling disputes between a former president and the sitting president over the release of White House records.

Meadows was subpoenaed by the committee at the end of September and has been “engaged” with investigators to negotiate the terms of his deposition and the turning over of documents. The pace of these discussions, however, caused the committee to weigh more aggressive measures against him.

On Twitter, Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), a member of the committee, said Meadows “has a legal and moral obligation to cooperate with our committee.”

“I’m glad he has now agreed to appear and has already provided documents,” Schiff said. “We will evaluate the extent of his compliance after his testimony. We must reveal the full truth of what led to January 6.”

The news on Meadows’s cooperation deal comes a day after the select committee announced that it will move to hold Jeffrey Clark, a top official in the Trump Justice Department, in criminal contempt for not complying with its subpoena. A committee vote is expected Wednesday. Meadows’s decision to cooperate could spare him the same treatment.

Stephen K. Bannon, a former Trump adviser, was indicted by a federal grand jury on two counts of contempt of Congress for defying a congressional subpoena.

Jacqueline Alemany contributed to this report.