Is Mark Meadows cooperating against Donald Trump?: There’s nothing official, but Trump’s rival Chris Christie and others are speculating that the former White House chief of staff has flipped on the former president
Donald Trump Might Have a New Problem
Is former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows cooperating against his former boss, Donald Trump? Meadows was Trump’s final chief of staff, a job that he resigned a safe seat in Congress to accept, and taking the job put him alongside Trump during the period he was challenging the results of the 2020 election, including January 6 and its aftermath.
In texts from that time period reported on this week by the Washington Post, Meadows made clear that he didn’t believe Trump’s bogus claims about widespread election fraud in that election.
In what the newspaper described as “a text message that has been scrutinized by federal prosecutors,” Meadows texted a White House lawyer at the time stating that Meadows’ son, an attorney in Georgia, had found “only a handful of possible votes cast in dead voters’ names,” and far short of Trump’s claims that 5,000 dead people “voted” in Georgia.
That text is described by the Post as “one of many exchanges from the time in which Trump aides and other Republican officials expressed deep skepticism or even openly mocked the election claims being made publicly by Trump.”
Special Counsel Jack Smith is said to be looking at those messages, as he approaches a decision on whether to indict Trump himself, or others, in connection with the post-election actions of Trump’s team. The Post story also said that following the target letter that was sent to Trump, allies have been “feverishly speculating” about how much Meadows has cooperated.
It’s known that Meadows testified to the grand jury in June, in testimony that followed a months-long legal battle. It has not been announced that Meadows has reached any type of cooperation agreement with prosecutors, or if he received a target letter. Meadows’ attorney, in June, denied that Meadows had reached a plea deal at the time.
However, Gov. Chris Christie, the Trump ally turned rival, speculated this week that Meadows is cooperating against the ex-president.
Per NBC News, Meadows was asked Wednesday if he has testified before the grand jury, and Meadows replied, “I don’t talk about anything J6-related.”
Christie addressed that on MSNBC.
“Watching that video,” the ex-prosecutor Christie said, “that looks to me like somebody who is cooperating with the federal government.”
“The only time you can’t do it is when the government has a cooperation agreement with you and they say, ‘No talking about this; the only time we want to hear you talking is when you’re on the witness stand,'” Christie told host Andrea Mitchell. “And that, to me — Mark Meadows looks to me like a federal witness under a cooperation agreement, and I — my guess is that’s what we’re going to find out he is.”
Per Newsweek, a former colleague of Meadows from his time in Congress as stating that he was the type of person who would testify against Trump. Former Rep. David Jolly, who served in Congress when Meadows did, also made the comments on MSNBC.
“[Meadows] has remained now for the last year, the biggest open question mark for me,” the former Florida representative said. “I hate for this to sound like a personal judgment … I think he is somebody that would give up the president. I think he’s somebody that would sing. For reasons of protecting his own culpability and liability.”
Why is that?
“Is he willing to put himself in personal jeopardy to protect Donald Trump when Donald Trump is probably willing to kick him to the curb? I don’t know,” Jolly said in the interview. “When Jack Smith finally reveals everything he has, I think Mark Meadows is going to be a central figure to whatever charges get brought against Donald Trump.”
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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.