OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
Former White House Chief of Staff for Donald Trump, Mark Meadows, has agreed to cooperate with the Democrat-led January 6 select committee.
Meadows has agreed to report for an initial interview, CNN, who first broke the story on Tuesday, reported.
“Mr. Meadows has been engaging with the Select Committee through his attorney,” Democratic Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson the chair of the committee, said in a statement to CNN. “He has produced records to the committee and will soon appear for an initial deposition. The Select Committee expects all witnesses, including Mr. Meadows, to provide all information requested and that the Select Committee is lawfully entitled to receive. The Committee will continue to assess his degree of compliance with our subpoena after the deposition.”
Meadows’ lawyer George Terwilliger said in a statement to CNN that there is now an understanding between the two parties on how information can be exchanged moving forward, stating that his client and the committee are open to engaging on a certain set of topics as they work out how to deal with information that the committee is seeking that could fall under executive privilege.
But the agreement could be fragile if the two sides do not agree on what is privileged information. News of the understanding comes as Trump’s lawyers argued in front of a federal appeals court in Washington that the former President should be able to assert executive privilege over records from the committee.
“As we have from the beginning, we continue to work with the Select 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,” the attorney said. “We appreciate the Select Committee’s openness to receiving voluntary responses on non-privileged topics.”
CNN reported that multiple sources informed the news organization that Meadows had a new posture of cooperation with the committee.
“It’s not incorrect to say he has cooperated to some extent, but he hasn’t completely fulfilled his obligation and we need to see what happens. But Meadows doesn’t want to be held in contempt,” a source said to CNN.
“It is fair to say he is not Bannon, and he is not Clark … and he doesn’t want to be,” they said. “But how much he is cooperating, and how much he will cooperate remains an open question. He has done some things … but he has not fulfilled all his obligations … and it is not entirely clear yet how much he will cooperate.”
“We can tell the difference between someone who is stalling or faking, we don’t think that’s what is going on here,” the source said.
Democratic Rep. Pete Aguilar agreed that Meadows could have a “minor claim” to executive privilege, but that claim would not include questions that the committee has for him that “have nothing to do with the conversations he had directly with the President.”
“His conversations about stopping a free and fair election, about criticizing and stopping the counting of electoral votes, about his coordination with campaign officials on private devices that were not turned over, all of those issues are not privilege worthy and he has some explaining to do,” he said.
Some members of the committee had hinted in recent days that Meadows could start cooperating.
“I expect that there is going to be movement particularly on Mark Meadows that we’ll know about shortly, in the next day, next two days or so. And I think the people will be pleased with that,” Rep. Adam Kinzinger said on the MSNBC show “Morning Joe” on Monday.