Appeals Court Upholds Order for Meadows’ January 6 Testimony

April 4, 2023

The DC Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld an order compelling former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and other former White House officials to testify before the grand jury investigating the deadly January 6, 2021 insurrection.

In siding with the Department of Justice, the sealed order denies an emergency motion from former members of the Trump Administration. 

On March 24, U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell had rejected claims of executive privilege and ordered that Meadows and several other former Trump staffers had to supply their testimony to the grand jury.

Among those other staffers are former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, former national security adviser Robert O’Brien and former Department of Homeland Security official Ken Cuccinelli. Former Trump advisers Stephen Miller, Nick Luna and John McEntee have also been ordered to testify. 

The case had been assigned to a three judge panel at the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals late Monday night, with the Justice Department responding just two hours later, shortly after 1am ET.

Meadows’ former aide Cassidy Hutchinson was a star witness during the House Select January 6 Committee’s televised hearings last year. Amid her testimony, she spoke of her exasperation at Meadows’ lack of urgency as rioters violently stormed the U.S. Capitol building.

According to her testimony, in response to her question, “The rioters are getting really close. Have you talked with the president?” Meadows said, “No, he wants to be alone right now.”

She further testified that when then-White House counsel Pat Cipollone pressed Meadows to join him in urging Trump to act, Meadows replied, “He doesn’t want to do anything, Pat,” according to Hutchinson.

And in a batch of documents released by the committee in lates December it was revealed that Hutchinson told the committee that she saw Meadows burn documents in his office fireplace around a dozen times—about once or twice a week—between December 2020 and mid-January 2021. At least twice, the burnings occurred after meetings with Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), who had been linked to efforts to use the DOJ to overturn the 2020 election.

No response yet from the Trump team on the Appeals Court decision—handed down on the same day that the former President faces arraignment in New York City on a reported 34 counts related to business fraud surrounding hush money payments ahead of the 2016 Presidential Election.

However, a Trump spokesperson slammed Judge Howell’s initial decision when it came down, accusing the Justice Department of “continuously stepping far outside the standard norms in attempting to destroy the long accepted, long held, Constitutionally based standards of attorney-client privilege and executive privilege.”

Read more exclusive news from Political IQ.

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