Former Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is no longer cooperating with the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, his lawyer announced Tuesday.
Mr. Meadows’ attorney, George Terwilliger, said his client was unable to agree on terms for working with the committee after he initially agreed to voluntarily answer questions that he believed were not protected by executive privilege.
“We have made efforts over many weeks to reach an accommodation with the committee,” Mr. Terwilliger told Fox News.
In a letter to the committee, Mr. Terwilliger said that a deposition would be “untenable” because the Jan. 6 panel “has no intention of respecting boundaries” concerning questions that Mr. Trump has claimed are off-limits because of executive privilege, the Associated Press reported.
Mr. Terwilliger also said he learned over the weekend that the committee issued a subpoena to a third-party communications provider that he said would include “intensely personal” information.
The committee announced last week that Mr. Meadows had struck a deal to cooperate with its probe, in a sharp reversal after he failed to appear at a scheduled deposition in November.
Mr. Terwilliger asserted before the deposition that his client remained “immune” from the committee’s probe citing, Mr. Trump’s claims of executive privilege.
Mr. Terwilliger said he believed his client could reach a deal with the committee to cooperate, while also remaining clear that Mr. Meadows could not make “a unilateral decision to waive Executive Privilege claims asserted by the former president.”
But in the letter to committee leadership Tuesday, Mr. Terwilliger said he no longer believed that an agreement under those terms could be reached.
The legal wrangling surrounding the committee underscores the political conflict at the heart of the Democrat-run panel’s work. Democrats describe their work as a quest for truth, but Mr. Trump‘s supporters view the committee as an attempt to smear Republicans and score political points.
Mr. Meadows is among several witnesses that have leaned on the president’s legal claims as justification for stalling the committee, but the committee rejects that Mr. Trump’s argument has any standing.
Mr. Trump has sued federal officials over the release of documents related to the Jan. 6 probe. His legal team said in the lawsuit that the House committee has “no legitimate legislative purpose” for its request.
The legal team also continues to press its claim that, as a former president, Mr. Trump enjoys “inherent constitutional rights of privilege.”