WASHINGTON – Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is now cooperating with the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, possibly averting a contempt citation for defying the panel's subpoena for documents and testimony.
“Mr. Meadows has been engaging with the Select Committee through his attorney," committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said Tuesday. "He has produced records to the committee and will soon appear for an initial deposition."
While acknowledging Meadows' cooperation, Thompson said he did not rule out future action.
"The committee will continue to assess his degree of compliance with our subpoena after the deposition,” the chairman said.
Meadows had been among a string of former administration officials and campaign advisers refusing to cooperate with the investigation. Former President Donald Trump is fighting a subpoena for his administration's documents in a federal appeals court Tuesday. And the Justice Department has filed criminal contempt charges against Trump political strategist Steve Bannon.
George Terwilliger, a lawyer for Meadows, said earlier this month that the former chief of staff wouldn't cooperate with the committee until the court battle over Trump's executive privilege claims is resolved.
On Tuesday, Terwilliger said his client was providing "voluntary responses" that did not involve privileged communications.
“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 said in a statement.
The committee subpoenaed Meadows on Sept. 23 for his communications with Trump on Jan. 6 and with organizers of a rally where the president spoke before a mob attacked the Capitol.
The committee also seeks information about Meadows contacting the Justice Department requesting investigations into election fraud in several states and encouraging several state officials to investigate allegations of election fraud. More than 60 election lawsuits were dismissed because of lack of standing or merit.
Terwilliger sent a letter to the committee saying Meadows felt "duty bound" to disregard the subpoena.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows now cooperating with January 6 panel