However, Meadows has made clear he has no intention of cooperating with the committee until the courts rule he must do so.
White House Deputy Counsel Jonathan Su wrote to Meadows’ attorney, George Terwilliger, informing him of the decision and once again citing “the unique and extraordinary circumstances where Congress is investigating an effort to obstruct the lawful transfer of power under our Constitution.”
Su notes that Biden has already determined that executive privilege does not apply to particular subjects within the committee’s purview, including: “events within the White House on or about January 6, 2021; attempts to use the Department of Justice to advance a false narrative that the 2020 election was tainted by widespread fraud; and other efforts to alter election results or obstruct the transfer of power.”
The Washington Post first reported the new letter.
“Contrary to decades of consistent bipartisan opinions from the Justice Department that senior aides cannot be compelled by Congress to give testimony, this is the first President to make no effort whatsoever to protect presidential communications from being the subject of compelled testimony. Mr. Meadows remains under the instructions of former President Trump to respect longstanding principles of executive privilege. It now appears the courts will have to resolve this conflict,” Terwilliger told CNN in a statement.
The new letter comes after CNN previously reported that members of the House select committee are losing patience with the pace of talks with Meadows, and some are considering whether more aggressive steps are needed to force his compliance in the sweeping probe.
Meadows was first subpoenaed in September, and since then the committee has indicated he’s been “engaging” in negotiations over the terms of his turning over documents and appearing for a deposition.
But weeks after the committee granted Meadows a “short” but indefinite postponement of the initial subpoena deadline, members are growing increasingly frustrated and have been contemplating when and how to ramp up the pressure.
Among the options being considered is officially setting a new deadline for Meadows to comply with the committee’s subpoena or risk being held in criminal contempt, the path it pursued with Trump ally Steve Bannon. After making clear from the outset that he had no intention of cooperating with the panel, Bannon now faces possible prosecution for defying his subpoena.
On Tuesday, the committee subpoenaed also two former White House officials who worked closely with Meadows in an effort to learn more about his efforts to communicate with others relevant to the probe — including election officials in Georgia, organizers of January 6 events and high-level officials at the Department of Justice.