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Meadows says he won’t cooperate with January 6 committee

Washington — Mark Meadows, who served as White House chief of staff to former President Donald Trump, said Tuesday that he will no longer cooperate with the House select committee investigating the January 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol.

CNN first reported that Meadows wouldn’t work with the committee. Meadows confirmed his stance in an interview with the streaming news network Real America’s Voice, saying the committee intended to ask about items that he considers protected by executive privilege, despite his efforts to reach an accommodation to share non-privileged information.

“In addition we found that in spite of our cooperation in sharing documents with them, they had issued, unbeknownst to us and without even a courtesy call, issued a subpoena to a third-party carrier trying to get information,” Meadows said. “At this point, we feel like it’s best that we just continue to honor the executive privilege and it looks like the courts are going to have to weigh in on this.”

Meadows’ decision comes one week after its chairman, Democratic Congressman Bennie Thompson, said the former congressman was engaging with the committee and had turned over reams of documents. Thompson said last week Meadows was expected to appear for an initial deposition “soon.”

George Terwilliger, Meadows’ attorney, at the time said he and his client were working with the select committee and staff to reach an accommodation that did not require Meadows to waive executive privilege.

The committee last month threatened to seek a contempt referral against Meadows if he did not work with them and appear for a deposition set for mid-November.

The full House has already voted to hold former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress after he refused to comply with a subpoena for testimony and records. A federal grand jury then indicted Bannon on two counts of contempt of Congress. He pleaded not guilty, and federal prosecutors are pushing for a trial to take place by mid-April.

The January 6 select committee has publicly acknowledged issuing subpoenas to 45 individuals and groups it believes have knowledge about the events surrounding the attack on the U.S. Capitol, during which a mob of Trump’s supporters attempted to stop Congress from tallying each state’s electoral votes.

Meadows was in the earliest group of former White House aides and allies of the former president to receive a subpoena from the House panel, which wants documents and testimony.

In a September letter asking Meadows to turn over information, Thompson said he has “critical information regarding elements” of the committee’s investigation, as he was with Trump on January 6 and communicated with him and others about events at the Capitol. Documents filed with the committee, as well as records made public as part of separate probes from the House and Senate, also show Meadows communicated with top officials at the Justice Department about allegations of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election and pushed for states to investigate fraud claims.

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