Former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Tuesday has begun engaging with the Jan. 6 select committee through his attorney after initially defying the panel’s subpoena, which the panel warned could land him a referral for criminal contempt if he didn’t comply this week.
Chair Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) confirmed Meadows’ engagement with the committee through his attorney, George Terwilliger, in a statement. Thompson said that Meadows’ attorney has provided records to the committee and that Meadows will soon appear for an initial deposition.
“The Select Committee expects all witnesses, including Mr. Meadows, to provide all information requested and that the Select Committee is lawfully entitled to receive,” Thompson said. “The Committee will continue to assess his degree of compliance with our subpoena after the deposition.”
Terwilliger told CNN that both parties have come to an understanding about how to proceed with exchanging information. Terwilliger said that his client and the committee are willing to engage on a certain set of topics as they navigate how to respond to requests that could potentially fall under executive privilege.
However, it is unclear whether the two sides will come to a consensus on what is considered privileged information. Trump’s lawyers have been arguing in court for months that the former president should be able to assert executive privilege over records from the committee. Trump’s lawyers took those arguments to a federal appeals court Tuesday after losing in district court earlier this month.
“As we have from the beginning, we continue to work with the Select Committee and its staff to see if we can reach an accommodation that does not require Mr. Meadows to waive Executive Privilege or to forfeit the long-standing position that senior White House aides cannot be compelled to testify before Congress,” Terwilliger told CNN. “We appreciate the Select Committee’s openness to receiving voluntary responses on non-privileged topics.”
Meadows’ engagement with the committee comes just days after member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) suggested that the panel plans to take action against Meadows this week if he continues to defy the panel’s subpoena.
Earlier this month, Meadows refused to meet with congressional investigators. On Sunday, Schiff said that the committee will likely make a decision this week about taking action against witnesses who have defied its subpoenas.
Meadows’ engagement also comes weeks after Trump adviser Steve Bannon was charged with two counts of contempt of Congress for failing to testify and turn over documents in response to a subpoena from the committee. The committee will also vote Wednesday recommending the full House vote to refer former Trump Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark to the DOJ for criminal contempt.