Former Chief of Staff fails to appear for Jan. 6 deposition
Mark Meadows, the former White House Chief of Staff for the Trump administration, failed to appear in front of the House committee investigating Jan. 6.
Staffers waited in a room with a stenographer but left nine minutes after the Friday morning deadline. Ahead of the scheduled deposition, Meadows’s attorney, George J. Terwilliger III, said his client would not cooperate until the courts ruled on former President Trump’s claims of executive privilege.
“The issues concern whether Mr. Meadows can be compelled to testify and whether, even if he could, that he could be forced to answer questions that involve privileged communications,” Terwilliger said. “Legal disputes are appropriately resolved by courts. It would be irresponsible for Mr. Meadows to prematurely resolve that dispute by voluntarily waiving privileges that are at the heart of those legal issues.”
“No matter how important the subject matter of the committee’s work, decades of litigation over Executive Privilege shows how critically important it is for a president to have access to advice and counsel without fear that political opponents in Congress will later be able to pull away the shield of confidentiality that protects candor in those communications,” he added.
Still, the committee could refer Meadows to the Justice Department for contempt of Congress.
“The Select Committee will view Mr. Meadows’s failure to appear at the deposition, and to produce responsive documents or a privilege log indicating the specific basis for withholding any documents you believe are protected by privilege, as willful non-compliance,” Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) wrote on Thursday ahead of the scheduled deposition.