WASHINGTON – Mark Meadows, former White House chief of staff under President Donald Trump, told the committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol on Tuesday that he no longer wants to cooperate with his investigation, canceling the deal he reached. with the group just last week to sit down for an interview and provide paperwork.
“We must now give up the opportunity to appear voluntarily to testify,” Mr. Meadows’s attorney George J. Terwilliger III wrote to the committee.
Instead, he invited Mr. Meadows to answer the questions in writing in what he called an “orderly process” that would create a “clear record of the questions and associated privilege statements.”
The turnaround was the second in two weeks for Mr Meadows, who initially refused to comply with a House commission subpoena under Mr Trump’s directive, but told the group last week that he was ready to provide paperwork and sit down for a voluntary interview.
In a letter Tuesday received by The New York Times, Mr Meadows’s attorney outlined a list of complaints against the elected committee, stating that he did not seem to respect Mr Trump’s assertion of executive privileges, and issued a subpoena for the Communication Mr. Meadows, which will include personal conversations.
“We agreed to provide thousands of pages of response documents, and Mr. Meadows was willing to appear voluntarily, rather than under duress, on the ad hoc committee’s agenda, to testify to answer questions on unprivileged issues,” Mr. Terwilliger wrote. “Now the actions of the ad hoc committee have rendered this view untenable.”
Mr. Terwilliger said the materials requested by the committee included “purely personal communications” not relevant to any legitimate investigation.
“With the breadth of the subpoenas and its pugnacious approach, the ad hoc committee has made it clear that it has no intention of respecting these important constitutional restrictions,” Mr. Terwilliger wrote.
MP Jamie Ruskin, a Maryland Democrat and committee member, called Mr. Meadows’ demands “overbearing and arrogant.”
“I can’t imagine we would accept this,” Mr. Ruskin said, adding that he was speaking only on his own behalf and not on behalf of the entire committee, which had not yet discussed Mr. Meadows’s final move. “We have to decide what to do. Our witnesses do not dictate the timing of our investigation. “
The committee has now interviewed more than 275 witnesses and is receiving assistance from some members of former Vice President Mike Pence’s inner circle, including his former chief of staff, Mark Short, according to someone familiar with the investigation.