The House Select Committee formed to investigate the January 6th attack on Congress and democracy is fighting diligently to get to the truth about how the attack was planned, and who — particularly in the White House — knew about it in advance. Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump is fighting with equal fervor to keep that from happening.
A particular avenue Trump has been pursuing is to claim that documents pertaining to his own activities, and activities of his staff and inner circle, during the attack and in the days leading up to it, are covered under executive privilege and cannot be released, including documents that would show who was visiting the White House, and who Trump and his team spoke to by phone, as the deadly rally was planned.
On Tuesday, this battle landed in D.C. Circuit Court, where a panel of judges heard arguments from Trump’s attorneys claiming that a former president should have some say in releasing — or refusing to release — documentation from his administration. Zoe Tillman, live-tweeting the hearing for Buzzfeed News, quoted Judges Patricia Millett and Ketanji Brown Jackson pressing Trump’s attorneys on exactly when a former president can overrule the current president’s decision on privilege.
Jackson digs in: "This all boils down to who decides. Who decides when it’s in the best interest of the United States to disclose presidential records. Is it the current occupant of the White House or the former, who does have some interest in the confidentiality of the docs?"
— Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) November 30, 2021
However, even as this hearing was underway, CNN broke the news that the January 6th Committee has had success with another source of witness testimony and documentation: Trump’s Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows. Some Trump allies have been resisting complying with subpoenas that would force them to testify before Congress. One ally, Steve Bannon, has already been hit with an indictment for his defiance, and the Commitee had expressed intentions to vote on whether to move forward with similar consequences for Meadows.
Now, though, this new report suggests that Meadows has decided to cooperate in advance of that decision, and has agreed to appear for an interview and provide documentation pertaining to the January 6th attack.
What's Your Reaction?
Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com