In June, Mark Meadows’ lawyer, George Terwilliger, called a report that his client had reached a plea agreement with the Special Counsel’s office “complete bullshit.” But the indictment charging Donald Trump with conspiring to use unlawful means to overturn the 2020 election indicates that Meadows, who was Trump’s last White House Chief of Staff, may now be a cooperating witness. Former Acting Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe said the absence of Meadows as a co-conspirator in the indictment “lends a lot of credence to the theory that he is working with or cooperating with or has provided significant information to Jack Smith and his team.”
Joyce White Vance, another former U.S. Attorney, is hesitant. She notes that the Special Counsel would have reason to reveal that the indicting grand jury received significant information from Meadows if it did. His cooperation could alarm other potential witnesses and encourage them to bargain for leniency while the opportunity remains. But the indictment in fact recites only one piece of evidence that appears to have been the product of Meadows’ personal recollection. It says that when Meadows traveled to Georgia at Trump’s behest to view the auditing of absentee ballots, he told Trump that state election officials were “conducting themselves in an exemplary fashion” and would discover fraud if any existed. (A day later, Trump tweeted that the same officials were attempting to hide evidence of fraud and were “terrible people.”)
Although this information is not the blockbuster one would expect if Meadows were telling all he knows, it tends to confirm accounts that he testified and supplied relevant information to the indicting grand jury. In May, Trump’s lawyers were reportedly concerned that the absence of any contact between Meadows’ team and theirs might indicate that Meadows was cooperating.
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