A judge has ordered former Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to testify before a Grand Jury in Georgia.
Investigations continue at the federal and state level to determine what laws may have been broken in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election, and who may be guilty.
The Department of Justice, the January 6th Committee, and, in Georgia, the Fulton County District Attorney, are all facing the same issue: witnesses who are fighting to avoid giving testimony.
One of these witnesses, at least, just came one step closer to being deposed. Meadows, a former North Carolina House Representative who joined Trump’s cabinet in 2020, has been ordered by a judge in South Carolina, where he now has a residence, to testify in the Georgia probe. An attorney representing Meadows has said he may decide to appeal the order.
This comes at the same time the Justice Department’s investigation is calling on a Federal judge to order two other potential witnesses, both attorneys who served in the White House under Trump, to testify. Pat Cipollone and Patrick Philbin have both testified before the January 6th Committee but may require a legal order to share some information that has been argued to be covered under privilege.
Washington Post reports:
“[Fulton County D.A. Fani] Willis also noted in the petition that on Dec. 22, 2020, Meadows ‘made a surprise visit’ to the Cobb County Civic Center in Marietta, Ga., where the Georgia Secretary of State’s office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation were conducting an absentee ballot signature match audit. There, Meadows ‘requested to personally observe the audit process but was prevented from doing so because the audit was not open to the public,’ Willis wrote.”
The DOJ’s investigation has already obtained multiple wins in their pursuit of witnesses, according to The New York Times:
“Judge [Beryl A.] Howell has already ruled in favor of the government in a similar privilege dispute concerning testimony from two top aides to former Vice President Mike Pence, Marc Short and Greg Jacob, according to several people familiar with the matter. Both Mr. Short and Mr. Jacob returned to the grand jury this month and answered questions that Mr. Trump’s lawyers had sought to block as being privileged during their original appearances.”
Meanwhile, the January 6th Committee is in talks with attorneys for Trump himself, seeking testimony about his actions across that time period.
Steph Bazzle covers politics and theocracy, always aiming for a world free from extremism and authoritarianism. Follow Steph on Twitter @imjustasteph.