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7 Dec, 2021 18:16

Former senior WH official no longer cooperating with Jan. 6 committee

Former senior WH official no longer cooperating with Jan. 6 committee

The attorney representing former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has said his client no longer plans to cooperate with the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riot.

Meadows’ attorney, George Terwilliger, told Fox News on Tuesday that he and his client have spent weeks trying to reach an “accommodation” with the committee, but there has been no success.

Meadows failed to appear before the panel last month, but it was previously believed his legal team had reached an agreement with the committee. Terwilliger said Meadows refused to answer certain questions he argues are protected by executive privilege, but the committee would not agree to refrain from asking questions on certain areas. 

An appearance by Meadows is now “untenable,” the attorney said. 

“We agreed to provide thousands of pages of responsive documents and Mr. Meadows was willing to appear voluntarily, not under compulsion of the Select Committee’s subpoena to him, for a deposition to answer questions about non-privileged matters,” Terwillinger said. He added that the committee’s behavior has now forced his client to “decline” the “opportunity to appear voluntarily for a deposition.” A letter outlining the situation was sent to committee members on Tuesday. 

Members of the panel assigned to investigate the riot have argued that Donald Trump and his close allies could hold direct responsibility for the day’s events, something the former president and others have denied. 

Terwilliger argues that the committee’s lack of respect for executive privilege opens a door for political rivals to expose any and all communications with senior staff of future presidents. 

The panel has run into trouble in trying to get Trump officials to cooperate. Former White House strategist Steve Bannon refused to cooperate with subpoenas from the panel, and was subsequently held in contempt of Congress. 

Terwilliger admits Meadows could receive similar treatment, but that he will “cross that bridge when he comes to it.”