clearn.png
Thursday September 29th, 2022 6:57AM

Official: Meadows had been warned of possible 1/6 violence

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — A former White House official told the House committee investigating the Capitol riot that President Donald Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, had been advised of intelligence reports showing the potential for violence, according to just-released transcripts.

Cassidy Hutchinson, a special assistant in the Trump White House, told the committee “there were concerns brought forward” to Meadows before the storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, but it was unclear what Meadows did with that information.

“I just remember Mr. Ornato coming in and saying that we had intel reports saying that there could potentially be violence on the 6th,” Hutchinson said, presumably referencing Anthony Ornato, a senior Secret Service official. “And Mr. Meadows said: ‘All right. Let’s talk about it.’”

The exact nature of what Meadows was told is not clear from Hutchinson's testimony. Though law enforcement had been bracing for potential violence on Jan. 6, officials had not properly accounted for the prospect that a violent mob would attack the Capitol.

The filing late Friday is the latest in a long legal fight over the extent to which Meadows, whose proximity to Trump has made him a key target of House Democrats, can be forced to cooperate with the committee's investigation. Meadows has handed over thousands of text messages, but he has refused to sit for an interview, has argued that he is immune from having to testify by virtue of his White House position, and has sued the committee.

The filing seeks a court ruling in the committee's favor that Meadows has no valid basis to refuse to testify. It says the committee has refined the scope of its request to focus on seven specific topics, including testimony about communication with Congress before Jan. 6, 2021; White House plans to replace the leadership of Justice Department so the department could pursue Trump's bogus claims of election fraud; and efforts to create alternate, or fake, slates of state electors who could change the outcome of the vote of the 2020 election that Democrat Joe Biden won.

The committee released excerpts of testimony from multiple witnesses it has interviewed, including Hutchinson. Besides describing warnings of potential violence provided to Meadows, Hutchinson revealed how the White House counsel's office cautioned against plans to enlist fake electors in states, including in meetings involving Meadows and Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

The filing also includes new text messages that Meadows turned over, including several from House Republicans who were pushing the former North Carolina congressman to act. Meadows’ close friend, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, suggests in a late text on Jan. 5, 2021 — the day before Congress was due to certify Biden's victory — that Vice President Mike Pence “should call out all electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all.”

Meadows texted back in the early hours of Jan. 6: “I have pushed for this. Not sure it is going to happen.” Pence ultimately resisted the overwhelming pressure from Trump and his allies and did not attempt to object to Biden's certification.

Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., was texting Meadows as early as Dec. 26, 2020: “Mark, just checking in as time continues to count down. 11 days to 1/6 and 25 days to inauguration. We gotta get going!”

In the texts released by the committee, Perry encouraged Meadows to talk to Jeffrey Clark, an assistant attorney general who was sympathetic to Trump’s bogus claims of election fraud. A week later, on Jan. 3, Clark attended a meeting at the White House with Trump, where the prospect of elevating Clark to the role of acting attorney general was discussed — but adamantly resisted by Justice Department officials, who threatened to resign, and White House lawyers. Trump ultimately backed down.

Hutchinson said Meadows talked “frequently” to Clark, and Hutchinson recalled Clark's presence at the White House and “his frequent outreach and communications.”

In another interview released by the committee Friday, former Justice Department official Steven Engel, then the head of the Office of Legal Counsel, said Clark had suggested that the department provide a legal opinion to Pence regarding the vice president's authority to object to the certification of the presidential election. Engel said he told Clark that was “absurd” and reminded him that Pence’s role was a ceremonial one as president of the Senate.

The testimony released Friday also reinforced how certain Republicans in Congress were deeply involved in White House discussions about overturning the election in the months leading to the deadly insurrection.

Hutchinson, for instance, described several calls involving Meadows and members of the far-right House Freedom Caucus in late November and early December in which participants discussed what Pence’s role could be on Jan. 6, besides the ceremonial role he was required to play.

On those calls, according to Hutchinson, were representatives from Trump's legal team, including Giuliani, Jenna Ellis and Sidney Powell, as well as Jordan and Perry.

Meadows' lawsuit asked a judge to invalidate two subpoenas that he received from the committee, alleging they were “overly broad and unduly burdensome.” The suit accused the committee of overreaching by subpoenaing Verizon for his cellphone records.

After the complaint was filed, the House committee sent a contempt of Congress charge against Meadows to the full House, where it passed on a near-party-line vote. It was the first time the chamber had voted to hold a former member in contempt since the 1830s.

While an earlier contempt referral against former Trump adviser Steve Bannon resulted in an indictment, the Justice Department has been slower to decide whether to prosecute Meadows.

Any criminal case against Meadows would be more complex than that presented against Bannon, in part because Meadows was a White House chief of staff and because he had begun to cooperate with the committee, even providing documents to the nine-member panel.

Meadows' attorney, George Terwilliger, has previously defended his client by noting that due to Meadows' willingness to turn over records, he should not be compelled to appear for an interview. Terwilliger did not immediately return an email seeking comment about the latest disclosures.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Elections, General Presidential Election News
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Official: Meadows had been warned of possible 1/6 violence
A former White House official told the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol that President Donald Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, had been advised of intelligence reports showing the potential for violence that day
11:41PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Nats angered by Kapler's late aggression in Giants' 7-1 win
Austin Slater smacked a three-run homer as part of a seven-run second inning against struggling Washington starter Patrick Corbin, and the San Francisco Giants cruised past the Nationals 7-1
11:41PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Ko, Hataoka share LA Open lead at demanding Wilshire CC
Jin Young Ko had five back-nine birdies in a 7-under 64 at demanding Wilshire Country Club for a share of the second-round lead Friday with Nasa Hataoka in the DIO Implant LA Open
11:30PM ( 21 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Kremlin critic jailed over denouncing Ukraine war
Russian authorities have opened a criminal case against a prominent opposition activist and remanded him in pre-trial detention for allegedly spreading “false information” about the country’s armed forces
9:24PM ( 2 hours ago )
McCarthy, Trump have 'positive' call despite Jan. 6 audio
House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy had a “positive” call with Donald Trump, despite the release of an audio recording critical of the former president shortly after the Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021
9:11PM ( 2 hours ago )
Florida Gov. DeSantis signs bill to limit discussion of race
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed into law new guidelines involving race-based discussions in businesses and school, part his campaign against critical race theory
7:20PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Marjorie Taylor Greene hostile in testimony over eligibility
U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene was hostile during testimony in a hearing on her eligibility to run for reelection, saying she did not remember liking and making various social media posts surrounding the attack on the U.S. Capitol last year
5:34PM ( 6 hours ago )
EXPLAINER: Why are Disney and DeSantis feuding in Florida?
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed a bill to dissolve a private government controlled by Disney that provides municipal-like services for its 27,000 acres in the Sunshine State
3:45PM ( 8 hours ago )
Biden signs order to protect old-growth forests from fire
President Joe Biden is taking steps to help restore national forests that have been devastated by wildfires, drought and blight
3:10PM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Nats angered by Kapler's late aggression in Giants' 7-1 win
Austin Slater smacked a three-run homer as part of a seven-run second inning against struggling Washington starter Patrick Corbin, and the San Francisco Giants cruised past the Nationals 7-1
11:41PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Ko, Hataoka share LA Open lead at demanding Wilshire CC
Jin Young Ko had five back-nine birdies in a 7-under 64 at demanding Wilshire Country Club for a share of the second-round lead Friday with Nasa Hataoka in the DIO Implant LA Open
11:30PM ( 21 minutes ago )
Young hits floater with 4.4 left, Hawks beat Heat 111-110
Trae Young hit a floater in the lane with 4.4 seconds left and the Atlanta Hawks overcame a 16-point deficit in the second half to beat top-seeded Miami 111-110 on Friday night, cutting the Heat’s series lead to 2-1
11:13PM ( 38 minutes ago )
Wright fans 11, Olson drives in 2 as Braves beat Marlins 3-0
Kyle Wright had a career-high 11 strikeouts in six dominant innings, Matt Olson doubled in two runs and the Atlanta Braves beat the Miami Marlins 3-0
10:32PM ( 1 hour ago )
Sailors' families seek answers about Russian ship sinking
It took the Russian military over a week to acknowledge that one serviceman died and two dozen others were missing after one of its flagship cruisers sank in the Black Sea, reportedly the result of a Ukrainian missiles strike
10:01PM ( 1 hour ago )