by Eric Tucker and Marie Claire Jalonik
WASHINGTON (AP) — In an abrupt reversal, a lawyer for former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said he cited a breakdown in talks with his client panel with the House committee investigating the Capitol uprising on Jan. will not cooperate.
Attorney George Terwilliger said in a letter Tuesday that a statement would be “untenable” because the January 6 panel “has no intention of respecting the boundaries” that former President Donald Trump has claimed were off-putting because of executive privilege. There are limits. Terwilliger also said he learned over the weekend that the committee had issued a subpoena to a third-party communications provider that he said would contain “deeply personal” information.
Terwilliger said in a statement last week that he was continuing to work with the committee and its staff on a possible accommodation that would not require Meadows to waive the executive privileges claimed by Trump or “long-term” Seize the ongoing situation that senior White House aides can’t, be forced to testify” before Congress.
“We appreciate the openness of the selection committee to receive voluntary feedback on non-privileged subjects,” he said then.
A spokesman for the panel did not immediately comment on Terwilliger’s letter. The committee chair, Mississippi Representative Benny Thompson, said last week that Meadows was engaging with the panel through his attorney, preparing records and had agreed to appear for the preliminary statement.
Thompson said the committee “will continue to assess her degree of compliance with our subpoena following the statement.” He has said that witnesses not complying will be treated as contempt of Congress.
In preventing cooperation, Terwilliger also cited Thompson’s comments that he wrongly accused witnesses, which invokes his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination. A separate witness, former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, has said he will enforce those Fifth Amendment rights.
“As a result of careful and deliberate consideration of these factors, we must now voluntarily decline the opportunity to appear for a statement,” Terwilliger wrote in the letter.
The reversal comes as Meadows is drawing attention for a new book released on Tuesday that revealed Trump received a positive COVID-19 test before the presidential debate and at the time was somewhere closer than the White House. was more ill.
Trump – who told his supporters to “fight like hell” before hundreds of his supporters barged into the Capitol and stalled the countdown to the presidential election – attempted to obstruct the committee’s work, including the ongoing In the court case, arguing that Congress could not obtain information about his private White House conversations.
Associated Press writer Jill Colvin contributed to this report.