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Former Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is Major Target of Jan 6th Committee’s Investigation

The House Select Committee investigating the January 6th attack on the Capitol has instructed telecom and social media companies in recent weeks to preserve records of Donald Trump’s White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, according to a source familiar with the matter. The move puts the Select Committee one step closer to the Oval Office as it continues its investigation into whether Trump and his White House helped plan or had advance knowledge of the insurrection perpetrated by the former president’s supporters. The previously unreported inclusion of Meadows on the list of people whose records the Select Committee wants suggests the panel will seek more information on the most senior aide in the Trump administration and could upturn every inch of Trump’s West Wing in its inquiry.

House Select Committee investigators signaled their intention to examine potential involvement by the Trump White House and House Republicans when they made a series of records demands and records preservation requests for Trump officials connected to the Capitol attack. The former chief of staff is among several top White House officials who may hold the key to unlock inside information pertaining to the extent of the former president’s involvement in the Capitol attack that left five dead and nearly 140 injured. Meadows remained at Trump’s side in the weeks before January 6th as well as on the day itself, as the White House strategized ways to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and ensure then-Vice President Mike Pence would not certify Joe Biden’s victory.

TOPSHOT – White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows (L) watches as US President Donald Trump (C) walks off Marine One while arriving at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland on October 2, 2020. – President Donald Trump will spend the coming days in a military hospital just outside Washington to undergo treatment for the coronavirus, but will continue to work, the White House said Friday (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

In the records preservation requests, the Select Committee instructed 35 telecom and social media companies to avoid destroying communications logs of several hundred people, including the House minority leader, Kevin McCarthy, and 10 House Republicans, in case it later issues subpoenas. It was not immediately clear which companies had received a records preservation request for Meadows from the select committee. Some telecom and social media companies – such as the online forum 8kun popular with QAnon conspiracy theorists – did not even receive a list of names.

 

The former White House Chief of Staff started the day of the insurrection with Trump in the Oval Office, before attending the “Save America” rally that preceded the Capitol attack, according to a Trump administration official familiar with his movements. Meadows then accompanied Trump back to the White House with a coterie of aides and advisers, from where Trump told the Republican senator Ben Sasse that he was “delighted” at the images of his supporters and domestic violent extremists storming the Capitol in his name. Such proximity to Trump and the chiefs of staff to two key Trump cabinet members closely connected to the Capitol attack suggests Meadows is likely to be a prime witness for the inquiry, insofar as he can shed light on Trump’s private thoughts as the violence unfolded.

House Select Committee investigators are still in the evidence-gathering phase, but the committee is likely to schedule its second hearing before the end of the month



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