Former Trump aide Meadows cooperating with Capitol riot panel

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Donald Trump’s former chief of staff Mark Meadows was called this month to appear before the House committee, but he did not do so.

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The chairman of the committee has said that former US President Donald Trump’s former chief of staff is cooperating with a congressional panel investigating the deadly January 6 Capitol uprising, including the documents.

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The agreement announced on Tuesday comes after two months of talks between Mark Meadows and the US House of Representatives committee, which is investigating the incidents that led to a deadly riot at the US Capitol building by a crowd of Trump supporters.

It also comes after the US Justice Department indicted longtime Trump aide Steve Bannon for defying a subpoena to cooperate with the investigation.

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Democratic Representative Benny Thompson, chairman of the House of Representatives select committee investigating the fatalities, said Statement on Tuesday that it expects Meadows to “provide all information requested.”

“Mr. Meadows has been engaging with the Select Committee through his lawyer. He has presented the record to the committee and will appear for a preliminary statement shortly,” Thompson said.

Shortly before the January 6 Capitol riots, Donald Trump gave a speech to his supporters urging them to go to the Capitol and ‘fight like hell’. [File: Julio Cortez/AP Photo]

On January 6, Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol to prevent Congress from formally attesting his 2020 presidential election loss to Democrat Joe Biden. Five people were killed and more than 100 law enforcement officers were injured.

Shortly before the riot, Trump gave a speech to his supporters reiterating his false claims that the election was “stolen” from them through widespread voter fraud. He urged the mob to “fight like hell” to “stop the theft” and was later impeached for “inciting rebellion”.

Trump has sought to block the release of White House documents related to the January 6 uprising by invoking “executive privilege”. The Biden administration rejected that argument in October, but Trump went to the courts to seek an order halting the release.

The former Republican president urged his former aides not to cooperate with the committee, calling the Democratic-led investigation politically motivated and arguing that his communications are secure.

Many have refused to cooperate with the panel, which has scheduled a vote on Wednesday to advance contempt charges against a separate witness, former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, when he was a Appeared for statement but declined to answer questions.

On Tuesday, a panel of judges from the US Court of Appeals showed skepticism toward withholding records of Trump’s conversations and actions before and during the deadly riots.

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson questioned why Trump should be able to challenge and dismiss Biden’s determination that the records should be handed over. “Is there any circumstance where a former president ever gets to make a call like this?” asked Jackson.

Trump’s lawyer argued that a 1978 law called the Presidential Records Act gives Trump that power. “I don’t see it in the statute,” replied Jackson.

Tuesday’s settlement comes after two months of talks between Mark Meadows, left, and the House committee [File: Al Drago/Reuters]

Meanwhile, the House panel says it has questions for former Trump chief of staff Meadows, which do not directly involve conversations with the former president and cannot be blocked by executive privilege claims.

In the committee’s summons, Thompson cited Meadows’ efforts to reverse Trump’s 2020 election defeat and his pressure on state officials to advance the former president’s false claims of widespread voter fraud.

Meadows’ attorney, George Terwilliger, said he was continuing to work with the committee and its staff on “potential accommodations” that would not require Meadows to relinquish executive privileges nor “long-standing” seize the position that senior White House aides cannot be forced to testify before Congress”, as Trump has argued.

“We appreciate the selection committee’s openness to receiving voluntary feedback on non-privileged topics,” Terwilliger said in a statement.

Terwilliger previously said that Meadows would not comply with the panel’s September summons because of Trump’s executive privilege claims.

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