WASHINGTON — Mark Meadows, who served as President Donald Trump’s final White House chief of staff, failed to appear for a deposition Friday before the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.
Meadows did not appear for the deposition on Capitol Hill, according to two sources familiar with his absence. It was scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. ET and about ten minutes later, about a dozen committee staff and investigators walked out of the room along with the stenographer.
His failure to show up comes a day after his attorney, George Terwilliger, suggested that Meadows had planned not to cooperate
“Contrary to decades of consistent bipartisan opinions from the Justice Department that senior aides cannot be compelled by Congress to give testimony, this is the first President to make no effort whatsoever to protect presidential communications from being the subject of compelled testimony,” he said in a statement. “Mr. Meadows remains under the instructions of former President Trump to respect longstanding principles of executive privilege. It now appears the courts will have to resolve this conflict.”
The committee’s chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said in a letter that the panel still expected Meadows to produce “all responsive documents and appear for deposition testimony tomorrow.”
“If there are specific questions during that deposition that you believe raise legitimate privilege issues, Mr. Meadows should state them at that time on the record for the Select Committee’s consideration and possible judicial review,” Thompson wrote.
Thompson warned that this could lead to Congress launching procedures to recommend Meadows for contempt of Congress charges as the House did with former Trump aide Steve Bannon for his refusal to comply with the committee’s subpoena.
Meanwhile, the committee was expecting to receive documents related to Trump and the Jan. 6 attack from the National Archives on Friday, but a federal appeals court granted Trump’s request to temporarily block them from being handed over.