Meadows will play both sides of the probing on Jan. 6 as the clock ticks on the investigation

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But even if he evades a face-to-face meeting, Congressional investigators aren’t done with Meadows. They plan to resume the former North Carolina congressman’s interview scheduled for Wednesday and potentially bring charges of criminal contempt if he goes through his scheduled no-show – a lawsuit that could bring him to justice, like another Trump ally Steve Bannon.

Meadows’ attempts to play both sides – insisting he wants to help the committee and then becoming defiant when questioned live – is likely a time-wasting act too. His goal, and that of other Trump allies, appears to be to shut down the clock on committee, perhaps in the hopes that his work will become embroiled in litigation that will stretch until the next Congress, when a potential GOP majority would certainly do so shut it down.

For now, however, the special committee investigating the armed attack on the Capitol has promised to continue searching for the truth despite attempts by Trump allies to cover it up. The Meadows-centered trial continues, Mississippi Democratic Rep Bennie Thompson and Wyoming GOP Rep, Liz Cheney, who chaired the committee, said in a joint response to Meadows’ announcement.

“Of course we had hoped that Mr. Meadows would continue to work with the committee. But based on his attorney’s letter today and his plan not to appear for testimony, that creates a different dynamic, ”Thompson said later Tuesday. “We were ready to leave with disdain earlier, but we held it back because of an agreement we believed to be a collaboration. It didn’t.”

Meadows could have provided the probe with new interesting information in the form of 6,000 pages of documents, despite his change in the eleventh hour. A source familiar with the matter told CNN that the recordings, which are already in the committee’s possession, were releases dated Jan.

California Democratic MP Pete Aguilar offered further details late Tuesday, telling CNN’s Annie Grayer that documents Meadows has already submitted to the committee contain evidence that he was dealing with “people involved in planning Jan. 6 were responsible ”.

When asked why he thought Meadows suddenly decided to keep calm, Aguilar speculated that it was an attempt by Meadows to fix or salvage what remained of his relationship with Trump.

“Maybe (Meadows’) was at odds with his book tour,” said Aguilar. “The only thing that really changed was the attitude of the former president. According to press reports, the former president was not happy with Mr. Meadows and a lot of these people, just, you know, clearly like we were on Jan 5th and 6th have seen.” do what the former president wants. “

Another detail that Trump certainly did not want to publish came out on Tuesday – with Meadows as the messenger. In a newly published excerpt from his memoir, “The Chief’s Chief,” it was revealed that the former president’s blood oxygen levels fell to “dangerously low levels” shortly after he announced he had tested positive for Covid-19 in October was 2020. This follows among other notable details, as Meadows recounts in the book, how Trump fished for a negative test result after a previous positive test result before his first debate with then-candidate Joe Biden.

The Bannon precedent

By displeasing Trump, as he did with the book littered with unflattering revelations, Meadows risks a backlash from the MAGA audience he expects to sell for juice. He’s now also being measured against Bannon, the former top Trump adviser who enjoys his litigation. Bannon streamed his surrender live to authorities in November while pursuing a profitable political ordeal.

“This is going to be an offense from Hell for Merrick Garland, Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden,” Bannon told reporters last month when he was holding his own court outside the main courtroom and at one point suggested that he, like Trump, was affected by the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was targeted and said she should “ask Hillary Clinton how this turned out”.

Bannon, a judge announced Tuesday, will not be tried until July 18, during the heat of the 2022 primary for his disregard of Congressional charges. The Justice Department had requested to start the process in April but reached a compromise date. Bannon pressed for the process to be postponed until mid-October, weeks before the elections.

Meadows is a less melodramatic character, but at least tactically seems to be following a similar path.

In a letter to the committee, his attorney, George J. Terwilliger, alleged that Meadows ‘decision to skip Wednesday’s hearing was due to investigators’ decision to subpoena “information from a third party communications provider” – likely metadata over phone calls and text messages , which may reveal more about who spoke to whom and when before, during, and after the uprising.

The nut of Meadow’s argument is that in search of a fuller picture of the events, the committee wired plans to investigate Meadows for information Terwilliger described as being protected by Trump’s “executive privilege”. But Biden’s office – now the arbitrator of that privilege – has repeatedly refused to invoke documents that Trump wanted to keep secret. And, as the Democrats have noted, Meadow’s obligation to protect presidential secrets did not extend to writing and promoting his inside memoir.

At Wednesday’s hearing, select committee members will likely face an empty chair – and not for the first time. Meadows declined to appear for questioning last month. On the same day, a federal grand jury returned the indictment against Bannon, which the Justice Department had brought against Bannon for his own failure to testify.

How a Bannon civil rights attorney became a Trump global star

On Tuesday, a group of right-wing members of the Republican House of Representatives held a press conference to preview the work of the Committee of the 6th of what awaits its party if its party takes control of the House next year.

“We’ll take power after this next election. And if we do, it won’t be like the days of (Former House Speaker) Paul Ryan and (Rep.) Trey Gowdy and with no real supervision and no real subpoenas, “said Gaetz. “It’ll be the days of (GOP Reps.) Jim Jordan, Marjorie Greene, Dr. (Paul) Gosar and me.”

When naming Gowdy, Gaetz did not mention that the former South Carolina congressman had actually overseen a lengthy, politically-driven investigation into the attack on Americans in Benghazi – which had Clinton summoned and provided live testimony for hours – as part of an effort , which current GOP minority leader Kevin McCarthy notoriously called “a strategy to fight and win” in 2015 in Fox News.

The Democrats on the January 6th Committee largely ignored the display of the MAGA people and continue to exude confidence that their work will ultimately produce the intended end product – a comprehensive account of the turmoil created by testimony and evidence from hundreds of people it has already been interviewed.

Former FBI assistant director Andrew McCabe, now a CNN law enforcement analyst, suggested in Anderson Cooper 360 Tuesday night that Bannon himself was likely a “lost cause for the committee” at this point.

There is evidence that at least some of the members are agreeing and, slightly under the radar, are probing other Trump allies for potentially incriminating knowledge of the insurrection planning, deadly siege, or official cover-up efforts in the aftermath. The willingness to cooperate of those around the former Vice President Mike Pence, including his former Chief of Staff Marc Short, is another wild card. Short was in the Capitol with Pence on January 6th when demonstrators outside demanded the killing of his boss and now supports the committee with knowledge of his activities, according to several sources.

CNN Exclusive: Top Pence Advisor partners with January 6th Committee

Unsurprisingly, Team Trump was more difficult to pin down as individuals weigh their interests against and against those of Trump, who never overlooks anything.

But Rep. Adam Schiff, a California Democrat and committee member, told CNN’s Ryan Nobles that Meadows and Bannon’s excuses made the committee’s work difficult, but that the Justice Department’s prosecution of Bannon was an effective tool to reach out to other, lesser-known people Lights to encourage collaboration.

As for those who signal they are relying on their rights under the Fifth Amendment in order not to answer questions, Schiff said the committee would treat them with reasonable skepticism.

“If they are claiming the Fifth only to suit the whims of the president or to cover up the president, that is not a proper use of the privilege,” he said. “But we will have to do our best to see if you are properly conjuring the Fifth or using it as a ruse to hold onto information.”


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