Over the weekend, some readers expressed concern over the fact that former Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows hadn’t yet been referred for contempt by the January 6th Committee. Our response was that it didn’t really matter; Meadows was going to be dealt with one way or the other. When it was reported yesterday that the committee was moving forward with referring former Trump DOJ official Jeffrey Clark for contempt, but apparently not Meadows, it still wasn’t anything to worry about. After all, none of these guys have magic wands for getting out of this.
Sure enough, we’re now being reminded that there are indeed no magic wands in politics. It turns out the real reason the Mark Meadows criminal referral was taking so long was that he’s changed his mind and decided to cooperate with the committee after all. According to reporting from CNN and ABC News, Meadows has now turned over January 6th documents and agreed to give cooperative testimony.
It can’t be overstated just how big of a deal this is. Mark Meadows was Donald Trump’s right hand man in the White House, on an official and practical level, during the January 6th timeframe. It’s difficult to think of a better witness you’d want to cave and cooperate. When it comes to January 6th, Meadows can give up Trump more directly and thoroughly than perhaps any other inside witness.
Of course the defeatists on social media are already trying to spin this massive win into a loss. They’re insisting that Meadows isn’t sufficiently cooperating, or that this is all just some trick and Meadows will end up not cooperating or lying. But back in the real world, nothing works this way. If Meadows were insufficiently cooperating, the committee would have already rung him up for contempt. If he backs out of his cooperation, they can get him for contempt at that time. And if he lies during his testimony, they can ring him up for perjury.
The bottom line is that the Mark Meadows news is huge and overwhelmingly positive news. It’s also a reminder that the indictment of Steve Bannon, and the threat of indictment against Meadows, have worked. Meadows has caved. Another witness, Ali Alexander, announced over the weekend that he’s cooperating because he doesn’t want to end up in prison. The January 6th Committee knows what it’s doing, and its methods are working. More witnesses will surely cave now that the floodgates are starting to open.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report