President Donald Trump’s former White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, has said that he intends to stop complying with Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s House Select Committee on the Capitol riot.
Meadows’ attorney, George J. Terwilliger III, wrote to the committee on Tuesday, saying that Meadows previously agreed to provide “thousands of pages of responsive documents” voluntarily and provide a deposition on non-privileged information. He went on to say that recent actions by Pelosi’s committee have “made such an appearance untenable.”
Terwilliger specifically noted new subpoenas seeking information and phone records from AT&T and inflammatory comments made by the committee chairperson Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS).
Thompson’s statements regarded the potential testimony of another witness, Jeffrey Clark, who worked for the Justice Department during the Trump administration. Clark recently indicated that he would invoke his right not to testify before the committee guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment.
Thompson appeared on MSNBC last week and told host Rachel Maddow that if a person claims they have not done anything wrong but asserts Fifth Amendment rights, it “says that you have something to hide.”
Terwilliger’s letter said that Thompson’s comments caused him to question his last hope that the committee would be committed to “fundamental fairness in dealing with witnesses.” He said he would still consider a process whereby the committee would submit written questions to Meadows. He noted that Meadows could then answer in writing to be an orderly process that would allow for objections and assertions of privilege when appropriate.
When Pelosi established the committee to investigate the circumstances of the righteous acts and entry into the Capitol building by Trump supporters, she rejected two of the Republican House members proposed by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (D-CA). As a result, McCarthy withdrew his entire slate of recommended members.
As a result, the only two Republican members of the committee, Rep. Pelosi, appointed Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL). Both Cheney and Kinzinger are strident never-Trump Republicans.
The committee has sought documents and testimony from multiple Trump advisors and administration officials, including Stephen Bannon. He has been cited for contempt of Congress because he asserted privilege against providing testimony.