Trump ex-chief of staff cooperating with Congress probe: chairman

Mark Meadows, Donald Trump’s former chief of staff, is cooperating with the congressional committee investigating the January 6 assault on the US Capitol by supporters of the former president, the committee chairman said Tuesday.

Representative Bennie Thompson, who heads the Select Committee, said Meadows has provided records to the committee and “will soon appear for an initial deposition.”

Meadows was serving as Trump’s chief of staff when backers of the former president stormed the US Capitol in an attempt to halt the certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential election victory.

Meadows had initially snubbed a subpoena to testify before the House of Representatives committee investigating the assault on the Capitol, setting up possible contempt charges.

Thompson said in a statement on Tuesday that Meadows “has been engaging with the Select Committee through his attorney.”

“The Select Committee expects all witnesses, including Mr. Meadows, to provide all information requested and that the Select Committee is lawfully entitled to receive,” Thompson said. “The committee will continue to assess his degree of compliance with our subpoena after the deposition.”

George Terwilliger, Meadows’ attorney, said he was working with the 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 in a statement.

Trump has invoked presidential executive privilege in a bid to avoid having to turn over documents requested by the committee. A court hearing on the matter was taking place on Tuesday.

Former Trump advisor Steve Bannon was arrested two weeks ago on a contempt of Congress charge after refusing a subpoena to testify before the Select Committee.

House investigators believe Meadows, Bannon and other Trump advisors and staffers could have information on links between the White House and the mob that invaded the Capitol.

The committee has subpoenaed a number of Trump’s allies as it closes in on the actions of those involved in planning the rallies in Washington that preceded the assault on Congress.

Trump urged his supporters to march on the Capitol and “fight like hell” in a fiery speech on January 6 that was the culmination of months of baseless fraud claims about a contest he had lost fairly to Biden.