How Jack Smith got Mark Meadows to flip

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Mark Meadows cut a limited immunity deal with the DOJ at some unknown point in the past and has since testified against Donald Trump to the grand jury, according to new reporting today from the Independent. This news comes as a shocker to some who thought it would never happen, while others suspected all along that Meadows would end up flipping.

What’s interesting to me is that, in hindsight, it feels so inevitable. Today’s reporting says that Meadows will plead guilty to multiple charges as part of his limited immunity deal, which underscores that it’s not the kind of full “immunity” where you’re not charged at all. Meadows will be a convicted felon, and we’ll see if any prison time comes with the charges that he is pleading guilty to.

But unknown details aside, the point is that Jack Smith managed to get Meadows to flip. And even without knowing the full story, it’s not difficult to logically parse how Smith was able to make it happen. The courts ordered Meadows to at least testify about the crimes Trump committed that Meadows didn’t participate in. If Meadows hadn’t given this testimony, the courts would have immediately hauled him off for contempt. And even with just giving this amount of testimony, Meadows would still have been indicted and landed a lengthy prison sentence in the end.

Once Meadows realized that he really was going to prison for a long time unless he cut a deal, it’s just not surprising that he ended up doing it. Meadows may have thought he was going to stand firm and protect Trump until the end. But things change once you’re actually staring down the face of twenty years in prison, or whatever Meadows would have gotten if he hadn’t flipped. In any case, Jack Smith got his man.

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