(FiveNation.com)- Former President Donald Trump’s one-time chief of staff has suddenly flip-flopped and will no longer cooperate with the House special committee’s investigation on the incidents of January 6.
Mark Meadows, who originally agreed to cooperate with the committee’s subpoena, said he wasn’t going to voluntarily be deposed by the committee any longer. George J. Terwilliger II, the lawyer representing Meadows, made that announcement earlier this week.
In a letter that Terwilliger sent to members of the committee, he wrote:
“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. Now, actions by the Select Committee have made such an appearance untenable.
“In short, we now have every indication from the information supplied to us last Friday — upon which Mr. Meadows could expect to be questioned — that the Select Committee has no intention of respecting boundaries concerning Executive Privilege.
“As a result of careful and deliberate consideration of these factors, we now must decline the opportunity to appear voluntarily for a deposition.”
This move has got to be angering the members of the partisan select committee, who were told at first that Meadows was going to cooperate fully with them. Now, the former White House chief of staff joins a growing list of Trump allies who are being a thorn in the committee’s side.
Steve Bannon, a former top adviser to Trump, refused to comply with his subpoena completely, and he’s since been charged with criminal contempt of Congress as a result.
The public has speculated that Meadows played a role to advise a non-profit group called the Humpty Dumpty Institute, and they thought that’s why he was going to cooperate with the investigating committee. That nonprofit has been linked to the Chinese military and Democrats, and was once led by Mark Epstein.
Meadows denied have any involvement with that organization after the first term he spent in Congress, though. He further explained he wasn’t aware of any activity the organization had with China while he was a member of the HDI Congressional Advisory Board.
At the same time, a member of the House’s investigating committee, Representative Bennie Thompson, is listed as a member of their advisory board, and has been involved with the group since 2013.
Meadows still had a deposition on the docket for this Wednesday. If he doesn’t appear for it, Thompson — who chairs the committee — said they “will be left no choice but to advance contempt proceedings and recommend that the body in which Mr. Meadows once served refer him for criminal prosecution.”
Thompson along with another member of the committee, Republican Representative Liz Cheney, said in a statement that while issues of executive privilege are being argued in court, the committee still has “numerous questions” about the records that Meadows’ team turned over to them, “with no claim of privilege, which include real-time communications with many individuals as the events of January 6th unfolded.”