Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows provided the House select committee investigating the January 6 riot with text messages and emails that show he was “exchanging with a wide range of individuals while the attack was underway,” according to a source with knowledge of the communications.
The messages on Meadows’ personal cell phone and email account, which were voluntarily handed over without any claim of executive privilege, relate to “what Donald Trump was doing and not doing during the riot,” the source added.
These communications offer a window into what people were texting to Meadows on January 6, what he was telling them about Trump in real time, and what the former President was doing for those hours while the Capitol was under attack and rioters were chanting “Hang Mike Pence,” according to the source.
While a handful of Trump loyalists have defied the committee, the source familiar with the investigation said there are “many people every week coming in to testify and produce documents.” In some instances, “multiple people a day,” appear before the committee, the source added.
The committee’s works is happening on two levels — in public and behind closed doors. The committee has said it has subpoenaed about 40 individuals, but the source tells CNN there are a large number of additional subpoenas that have not been revealed publicly. The source says that among these witnesses are “names we will recognize” and eventually those are likely to become public as well.
In a letter sent to the Meadows’ attorney on Wednesday, the committee hinted at the content of the texts it has received from Trump’s former chief of staff. The letter noted Meadows provided the committee with “text messages about the need for the former President to issue a public statement that could have stopped the January 6th attack on the Capitol.”
The source familiar with the communications tells CNN the texts may not reflect well on the former president.
On Wednesday, Meadows filed a lawsuit against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and select committee members after the panel announced it intends to move forward with criminal contempt proceedings against him.
GOP Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who serves as the committee’s vice chairwoman, reacted to Meadows’ lawsuit by telling CNN, “We look forward to litigating that,” noting that Meadows is refusing to answer questions about documents that he turned over voluntarily to the committee.
“The committee has received a number of extremely interesting, non-privileged documents from Mr. Meadows,” she said. “They include documents that are directly related to what President Trump should have been doing on January 6 during the attack, and now he is refusing to appear to answer questions about those non privileged documents.”
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