Mark Meadows Testified Before Special Counsel Grand Jury

June 6, 2023

Former Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has testified before the grand jury in Special Counsel Jack Smith’s investigation, The New York Times reported Tuesday evening. 

In March U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell had ordered Meadows to testify before a grand jury investigating the deadly January 6, 2021 insurrection, rejecting his claims of executive privilege. Meadows had unsuccessfully challenged a subpoena issued by Smith demanding his testimony and related documents. 

In November, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed veteran prosecutor Smith as special counsel to determine whether criminal charges should be filed against  Trump in the investigations into the former President’s role in January 6 and whether he broke the law and obstructed justice in the removal and transporting of hundreds of documents from the White House to his Florida country club residence, Mar-a-Lago.

ABC News reported later Tuesday evening that Meadows did, in fact, answer questions related to both Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election and Trump’s handling of classified documents.

The news of Meadows’ testimony comes as NBC News has reported that the grand jury investigating Trump’s handling of classified documents is expected to meet this week.

It also comes one day after Smith and other Department of Justice officials met for nearly two hours with Trump attorneys Lindsey Halligan, John Rowley and James Trusty amid reports federal prosecutors are wrapping up the investigation into the former President’s handling of classified documents.

Last year, the DOJ  declined to prosecute Meadows despite his having been charged with contempt of Congress for ignoring a subpoena from the House Select January 6 Committee.

But Meadows’ former aide Cassidy Hutchinson was a star witness during that 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 in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying President Biden’s electoral college win in 2020 over then-President Trump.

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.”

And in a batch of documents released by the committee in late 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.

Meadows attorney George Terwilliger responded to questions about his client’s grand jury testimony by saying, “Without commenting on whether or not Mr. Meadows has testified before the grand jury or in any other proceeding, Mr. Meadows has maintained a commitment to tell the truth where he has a legal obligation to do so.”

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