Meadows Was Warned Of ‘Intel Reports’ On Possible Jan. 6 Violence, Court Filing Says

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows speaks to members of the press outside the West Wing of the White House on August 28, 2020. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows was warned of possible violence ahead of Jan. 6, 2021, according to testimony released in a court filing Friday night by the Jan. 6 Select Committee.

The filing released by committee said Cassidy Hutchinson, a former top aide to Meadows, told congressional investigators “there were concerns brought forward” to Meadows ahead of the Capitol insurrection, but it was unclear if Meadows took any action in light of those concerns.

In the filing, Hutchinson claimed that Anthony Ornato, a senior Secret Service official who also served as an adviser at the Trump White House, had “intel reports” warning that “there could potentially be violence on the 6th.”

“And Mr. Meadows said: All right. Let’s talk about it,” Hutchinson said, according to the filing.

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“I’m not sure if he — what he did with that information internally,” Hutchinson continued.

Douglas N. Letter, general counsel of the House, noted in the filing that despite the alleged warnings Meadows received, then-President Trump boosted the Big Lie of bogus claims of election fraud when he urged attendees at the “Stop the Steal” rally on the Ellipse hours before the insurrection to “take back your country.”

The committee’s court filing is part of a push for a federal judge in Washington to toss Meadows’ lawsuit against the panel, arguing that Meadows’ claims of executive privilege have no standing. After briefly engaging with the committee late last year, Meadows sued the committee, its members, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in an effort to block the enforcement of the panel’s subpoena.

Although the House voted in December to refer Meadows for criminal prosecution for contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena from the committee, the Justice Department has not pursued charges against the Trump White House official.

In its court filing issued Friday, Hutchinson outlined Meadows’ involvement in the scheme to subvert the 2020 election results.

In detailing Meadows’ Big Lie efforts, the filing noted: several calls in late Nov. 2020 and early Dec. 2020 that Meadows and members of the House Freedom Caucus participated in, when they discussed how then-Vice President Mike Pence could disrupt the counting of electoral votes during the joint session of Congress on Jan. 6; a plot to replace acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen with Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark; a scheme to direct battleground states to put forward a fake slate of pro-Trump electors; and activity in the White House “immediately before and during” the events of Jan. 6.

The committee, citing Hutchinson’s testimony, argued that it had evidence that Meadows and “certain congressmen were advised by White House counsel that efforts to generate false certificates did not comply with the law.” Hutchinson testified that lawyers from the White House Counsel’s office rejected the scheme for alternate electors, saying the plan was not “legally sound,” according to the filing. Additionally, top White House lawyers threatened to resign over a plot to seize voting machines in states across the country — which allegedly dissuaded Meadows from pursuing the plan.

Reps. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and Liz Cheney (R-WY), who serve as chair and vice chair of the Jan. 6 Select Committee, reiterated the panel’s demand for the court to reject Meadows’ “baseless claims” and end his “obstruction” of its investigation in a statement issued Friday night.

“Mr. Meadows is hiding behind broad claims of executive privilege even though much of the information we’re seeking couldn’t possibly be covered by privilege and courts have rejected similar claims because the committee’s interest in getting to the truth is so compelling,” Thompson and Cheney said. “It’s essential that the American people fully understand Mr. Meadows’s role in events before, on, and after January 6th. His attempt to use the courts to cover up that information must come to an end.”

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