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Mark Meadows says he will no longer be cooperating with the January 6 committee

Former President Trump‘s chief of staff Mark Meadows will cease compliance with the committee investigating Jan. 6 after he and the committee could not come to agreement on the terms of his testimony, according to his attorney. 

Meadows’ attorney his client would no longer appear for a deposition in a letter to the committee released Tuesday. However, the letter noted that Meadows would still be willing to submit written answers to questions.  

 ‘We have made efforts over many weeks to reach an accommodation with the committee,’ his attorney George Terwilliger told Fox, which first reported the news. 

Just one week ago the committee said that Meadows had provided them records and agreed to give a deposition ‘soon.’ Prior to that, Meadows, along with former Trump strategist Steve Bannon, had refused to cooperate raising the prospect of criminal contempt proceedings.

Bannon was indicted for contempt of Congress following a referral from the House after he failed to appear for proceedings. Asked what his client would do if he is subject to the same treatment, Terwilliger said he and Meadows will ‘cross that bridge when he come to it.’ 

He emphasized that the former senior Trump official ‘has made every effort to try and accommodate and work with this committee’ while still maintaining the position on privilege ‘he must maintain.’  

Terwilliger said the committee had not tried to meet him half way.  He said the committee was forging ahead with plans to look into privileged subject matters, pointing to how it had already issued one subpoena for Meadows’ phone records, even though he planned to turn them over voluntarily after screening them for privileged material.

Representatives from the Jan. 6 committee could not be reached for comment.  

The attorney also pointed to a recent comment from committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., who said on MSNBC last week that when a defendant pleads the Fifth Amendment, ‘in some instances, that says you are part and parcel guilty to what occurred.’ 

‘We have made efforts over many weeks to reach an accommodation with the committee,’ Meadows’ attorney said

Trump has urged his acolytes not to comply with subpoenas from the committee

Trump has urged his acolytes not to comply with subpoenas from the committee 

‘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, adding that this called into question ‘exactly what is going on with this committee.’ 

Terwilliger said the committee had demonstrated a ‘wholesale waiver of any notion of executive privilege,’ or the right of the president to maintain certain private communications with his senior staff.

‘It is well-established that Congress’s subpoena authority is limited to the pursuit of a legitimate legislative purpose. Congress has no authority to conduct law enforcement investigations or free-standing “fact finding” missions. Even where there is a legislative purpose, requests that implicate the Separation of Powers by targeting current or former Executive officials must be narrowly tailored,’ Terwilliger wrote in the letter. 

Meadows’ ‘appreciation for our constitutional system and for the Separation of Powers dictates that he cannot voluntarily appear under these circumstances,’ the letter continued.  

In addition to the the two charges of contempt they’ve levied on Bannon, the committee has also approved contempt charges for former Justice Department lawyer Jeffrey Clark. He reportedly tried to pressure his seniors to ask state governments to investigate the 2020 results.

Prosecutors have not moved to indict Clark after he missed his hearing as he agreed to reschedule.  

As former chief of staff, Meadows is seen as a key witness to understanding Trump’s moves in the run up to Jan. 6 and the events on the day. 

No one  has been convicted of contempt of Congress since Watergate, and courts generally shy away from taking up such cases as as they are ‘political questions.’

As former chief of staff, Meadows is seen as a key witness to understanding Trump's moves in the run up to Jan. 6 and the events on the day

As former chief of staff, Meadows is seen as a key witness to understanding Trump’s moves in the run up to Jan. 6 and the events on the day

Meadows has made headlines over the past few weeks for revealing new details on Trump’s Covid diagnosis in his new book, ‘The Chief’s Chief.’ 

Meadows wrote that Trump tested positive, then negative, for the virus just three days before he got on the debate stage with Joe Biden.

Trump quickly denied the claim.

‘The story of me having COVID prior to, or during, the first debate is Fake News,’ he said.

Meadows reportedly wrote that the positive result came from an ‘old model testing kit,’ and that another COVID test came back negative – the White House never disclosed the first result, and the debate went on.

‘Well, the president’s right, it’s fake news,’ Meadows said in an interview with Newsmax Wednesday.

‘If you actually read the book, the context of it, that story outlined a false positive.’

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