Former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has pulled out of a tentative deal to cooperate with Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s politically motivated House select committee, which is “investigating” the January 6 riot at the UJ.S. Capitol, though critics argue with growing voracity that Democrats are using the opportunity to target political opponents.
The original agreement had the liberal media excited over the possibility that Meadows may have turned on his former boss, though the Republican politician dashed those hopes with a hearty laugh during an interview last week with James Golden, aka “Bo Snerdley,” on his WABC-AM show in New York.
Meadows served as chief of staff to former President Donald Trump, and his attorney informed the committee in a letter that while his client made a “good faith” effort to work with them, they have since learned that Meadows would be asked about matters he considers off-limits because of executive privilege, according to Politico. Attorney George Terwilliger III also revealed that the committee had subpoenaed Meadows’ private phone records from a telecom company, which had an impact on the decision to back away from their earlier arranged deal.
“Over the last several weeks, Mr. Meadows has consistently sought in good faith to pursue an accommodation with the Select Committee and up until yesterday we believed that could be obtained,” Terwilliger wrote. “We acted on the belief that the Select Committee would receive, also in good faith, relevant, responsive but non-privileged facts. We have consistently communicated to the Select Committee that Mr. Meadows is precluded from making a unilateral decision to waive Executive Privilege claims asserted by the former president.”
“We agreed to provide thousands of pages of responsive documents and Mr. Meadows was willing to appear voluntarily, not under compulsion of the Select Committee’s subpoena to him, for a deposition to answer questions about non-privileged matters. Now actions by the Select Committee have made such an appearance untenable,” he added. “In short, we now have every indication from the information supplied to us last Friday — upon which Mr. Meadows could expect to be questioned — that the Select Committee has no intention of respecting boundaries concerning Executive Privilege.”
The letter further stated that the committee “had, without even the basic courtesy of notice to us, issued wide ranging subpoenas for information from a third party communications provider without regard to either the broad breadth of the information sought, which would include intensely personal communications of no moment to any legitimate matters of interest to the Select Committee, nor to the potentially privileged status of the information demanded.”
Terwilliger also referenced Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, essentially declaring another witness guilty if he exercised his 5th Amendment constitutional right against self-incrimination.
“If he is saying, ‘I’ll come but I’ll plead the Fifth,’ in some instances that says you are part and parcel guilty to what occurred,” Thompson said of John Eastman, a Trump campaign attorney, who said he would not testify before the committee.
“Moreover, Mr. Chairman, your recent comments in regard to another witness that his assertion of 5th Amendment rights before the Select Committee is tantamount to an admission of guilt calls into question for us what we had hoped would be the Select Committee’s commitment to fundamental fairness in dealing with witnesses,” Terwilliger said. “As a result of careful and deliberate consideration of these factors, we now must decline the opportunity to appear voluntarily for a deposition.”
The actions of the panel suggests more of a witch hunt in search of a crime and the attorney informed Thompson that Congress “has no authority to conduct law enforcement investigations or free-standing ‘fact finding’ missions.”
“Even where there is a legislative purpose, requests that implicate the Separation of Powers by targeting current or former Executive officials must be narrowly tailored,” Terwilliger concluded. “Yet again, with the breadth of its subpoenas and its pugnacious approach, the Select Committee has made clear that it does not intend to respect these important constitutional limits.”
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