An attorney for former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said Tuesday his client will not cooperate further with the House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. File Photo by Chris Kleponis/UPI | License Photo
Dec. 7 (UPI) -- The attorney for former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday that Meadows will no longer cooperate with the probe.
The letter from George J. Terwilliger II said he and Meadows believe the committee would ask questions that fall under executive privilege while Meadows was serving under former President Donald Trump. Terwilliger said Meadows agreed to initially cooperate by answering questions to issues that didn't fall under those parameters.
"We agreed to provide thousands of pages of responsive documents, and Mr. Meadows was willing to appear voluntarily, not under compulsion of the select committee's subpoena to him, for a deposition to answer questions about non-privileged matters," Terwilliger said in the letter.
"Now actions by the select committee have made such an appearance untenable. In short, we now have every indication from the information supplied to us last Friday -- upon which Mr. Meadows could expect to be questioned -- that the select committee has no intention of respecting boundaries concerning executive privilege."
On Nov. 30, committee Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., announced that Meadows had agreed to cooperate in providing documents and sitting for a deposition.
"The committee will continue to assess his degree of compliance with our subpoena after the deposition," Thompson said then.
Terwilliger complained in his letter about subpoenas the committee issues to gain information from third-party communication carriers.
"Moreover, Mr. Chairman, your recent comments in regard to another witness that his assertion of Fifth Amendment rights before the select committee is tantamount to an admission of guilt calls into question for us what we had hoped would be the select committee's commitment to fundamental fairness in dealing with witnesses," Terwilliger said.
"As a result of careful and deliberate consideration of these factors, we now must decline the opportunity to appear voluntarily for a deposition."
On Dec. 1, the committee voted to recommend that Congress hold former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark in criminal contempt for refusing to comply with its subpoena.
Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon has also defied subpoenas from the committee, arguing that he was following Trump's lead in claiming executive privilege. The Justice Department has charged Bannon with criminal contempt.
The committee has also subpoenaed leaders of the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers extremist groups involved in the planning of the attack aimed at disrupting the certification process for Joe Biden's election.
And the committee is seeking the release of Trump's White House records from the National Archives, a move the former president is fighting in court.
Sgt. Aquilino Gonell of the U.S. Capitol Police wipes away tears Tuesday as he testifies before members of the Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Pool Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo/UPI | License Photo