An appearance is now “untenable,” Meadows’ attorney informed the committee.
Former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has informed the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol that he is no longer cooperating with their probe, two sources familiar with the matter tell ABC News.
In a letter from Meadows’ attorney, Meadows’ team says that they had intended to cooperate with the committee — but no more.
“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. Now actions by the Select Committee have made such an appearance untenable,” the letter from George J. Terwilliger II stated.
Terwilliger, in the letter, said that Meadows “has consistently sought in good faith to pursue an accommodation with the Select Committee,” but claims the panel has made an appearance for a deposition untenable because they have “no intention of respecting boundaries concerning Executive Privilege.”
In a subsequent statement, committee chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and vice chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said they would pursue contempt of Congress charges if Meadows fails to appear before the committee on Wednesday as scheduled.
“Tomorrow’s deposition, which was scheduled at Mr. Meadows’s request, will go forward as planned,” the statement said. “If indeed Mr. Meadows refuses to appear, the Select Committee will be left no choice but to advance contempt proceedings and recommend that the body in which Mr. Meadows once served refer him for criminal prosecution.”
A floor vote holding Meadows in contempt of Congress could lead the Department of Justice to pursue criminal charges as they have already done with former Trump adviser Steve Bannon.
Last week the committee suggested that Meadows had agreed to come forward for a deposition without preconditions, based on their initial communications.
Meadows’ attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment from ABC News.