Mark Meadows has testified before the grand jury: The final White House Chief of Staff in the Donald Trump Administration appeared before the grand jury investigating the former president, according to media reports Tuesday night.
Donald Trump Might Have Even More Legal Issues Now
Mark Meadows, who served as White House Chief of Staff during the final year of the Trump Administration, including on January 6 and the other moments of the endgame of Trump’s presidency, has testified before the grand jury investigating Trump’s misdeeds. The New York Times reported Tuesday night that Meadows testified, citing “ two people briefed on the matter.”
Meadows faced potential questioning over both the side of the case involving Trump’s attempts at overturning the election and Trump’s handling of classified documents. The Times was not clear what, exactly, Meadows testified about.
Trump had sought, earlier this spring, to invoke executive privilege to prevent Meadows’ testimony, but courts had gone against him.
The Times story added that “people in Mr. Trump’s orbit have been puzzled by and wary about the low profile kept by Mr. Meadows in the investigations.”
Meadows’ lawyer commented to the newspaper.
“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,” attorney George Terwilliger told the Times.
Meadows was present for the events of January 6, as well as the weeks before that. Also, he was a representative of Trump to the National Archives. And the recent reports that Trump admitted to possession of at least one document that he seemed to know he wasn’t supposed to keep traced that admission to a 2021 meeting with people assisting Meadows with his memoir.
Meadows had previously turned over some materials to prosecutors, CNN reported. CNN had also reported last month that Trump attorneys “had had no contact with Meadows and his team and were in the dark on what Meadows is doing in the investigation.”
In the Georgia case looking into Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential result in that state, Meadows testified but invoked the Fifth Amendment, a juror told the media shortly afterward.
George Conway, the longtime Republican lawyer and Trump critic called the reports of Meadows testifying both “very significant” and a “very bad sign” for the former president, in an MSNBC interview Tuesday.
“Particularly in the January 6 investigation, where he was really the gatekeeper with respect to communications to Trump when people were trying to get through to Trump and say ‘you have to say something,” Conway told MSNBC’s Joy Reid. “He was the guy who was opening and closing the door and talking to Trump, he was the one who got Ivanka to come down to talk to her father.”
Meadows was a former Republican Congressman from North Carolina, first elected to office in the Gingrich era, and was a key figure in the Tea Party-era House Freedom Caucus, later part of the effort to remove John Boehner as speaker. He resigned from Congress in late 2018 to serve as Trump’s third and final White House chief of staff.
Also Wednesday, CNN reported that former Trump aide Taylor Budowich was seen entering the federal courthouse in Miami, where the second grand jury looking into the documents case. Budowich, a former spokesman for the former president, runs a pro-Trump Super PAC called MAGA, Inc.
It was reported for the first time this week that a second grand jury, in South Florida, had been empaneled in connection to Trump’s documents case, in addition to the previously existing one in Washington.
“In recent days, Smith’s prosecutors have also sought testimony related to the documents probe before a grand jury in southern Florida, in what some people familiar with the process said appeared to be an effort to tie up several loose ends,” the Wall Street Journal reported this week.
One former Trump 2020 campaign official told 19FortyFive: “Donald Trump is under a legal siege. He is under assault from all sides and looks to be in serious trouble.”
Expertise and Experience: Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.