Another big shoe in Special Prosecutor Jack Smith’s Jan. 6 case against Donald Trump has finally dropped, per a Tuesday report from ABC News.
Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows agreed to testify before a federal grand jury in exchange for immunity, ABC News reported. That grand jury appearance was one out of at least three meetings which Meadows reportedly had with Smith’s team in 2023.
Meadows reportedly said that Trump was being “dishonest” when he first claimed to have won the election, hours after voting ended on Nov. 3. Per ABC News, Meadows also told prosecutors that he had informed Trump several times in the weeks after the election that the voting fraud allegations they were receiving were unfounded.
The question of Meadows’ cooperation has lingered for months over Smith’s investigation into Trump’s effort to reverse his 2020 loss.
But it came to a head after a D.C. federal grand jury returned an indictment against Trump in the Jan. 6 case in August. The indictment labeled several of Trump’s attorneys and advisers as “co-conspirators.” But none of the alleged co-conspirators appeared to match Meadows’ description, fueling speculation that he had struck an immunity deal.
Per ABC News, the deal’s terms include a provision that federal prosecutors cannot use information Meadows gave to the federal grand jury in a prosecution of him.
Meadows attorney George Terwilliger didn’t immediately return TPM’s request for comment. He called the idea “complete bullshit” in June, after The Independent reported that Meadows had testified before the grand jury after receiving “limited immunity.”
The former North Carolina congressman played a central role in the turbulent period between the November 2020 election and Jan. 6. Texts from Meadows’ phone obtained by TPM showed him communicating with dozens of members of Congress, Rudy Giuliani, and others as they cast about for ways to overturn Biden’s win.
Meadows reportedly told Smith’s team “obviously, we didn’t win,” referring to the 2020 election.
But during that period, Meadows traveled to Georgia at one point in a bid to observe an audit of absentee ballots – a central prong of many unhinged conspiracy theories.
Meadows reportedly told Smith’s team that he agreed with a federal assessment which found that the 2020 election was the most secure in the nation’s history.
That apparent belief didn’t stop him from writing a memoir of the period in which he continued to assert that the election was “rigged” amid evidence of fraud.
Meadows faces two charges in Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ RICO case, largely based on his appearance in the January 2021 phone call in which Trump told Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) that he needed to “find” enough votes to put him exactly one over his margin of defeat.
Meadows, who has pleaded not guilty, has sought to remove that case to federal court, arguing that he should receive protection for supposedly acting in an official capacity. After a federal district court judge rejected Meadows’ arguments, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear the case in December.