Former White House chief-of-staff Mark Meadows is on the verge of joiningAccording to the FBI, there is a growing number of former Trump officials being charged for contempt of Congress. multiple reports. Given Meadows’s refusal to testify before the House Select Committee investigating the 1/6 Capitol attack, the committee has confirmed that he will soon join former Trump adviser Steve Bannon and former Trump Justice Department official Jeffrey ClarkBeing the first person to be indicted during the query.
Meadows first declared his resistance to the committee scant hours before the Bannon indictment several weeks ago, and for a time it appeared as if the former chief of staff might negotiate his way into cooperation… but then his book came out. An altogether glowing portrait of the Trump years, as befitting one of the more vigorous lickspittles within Trump’s sphere, the book contained one nugget of actual news that had the press buzzing for days: Trump had tested positive days before his first debate with Joe Biden, but barreled forward with all his public plans, including meetings with the families of fallen soldiers.
Trump’s entirely predictable reaction was volcanic; he tore into Meadows, denounced all forms of disloyalty, and concluded that the whole thing was “fake news”… and then, the funny part happened. Meadows, desperate to please his master, went live on television and trashed his own book. When Meadows was questioned by NewsmaxAnchor Rob Schmitt on his book being slapped in the dreaded Meadows label replied, “Well, the president’s right, it’s fake news.”
Profiles in courage, baby. You can give that man a participation trophy or a sugar-free lollipops.
Should they ever be called to testify, Meadows and Clark could be key witnesses explaining Trump’s precise strategy (or lack thereof) on the day of the attack. There were two levels to the operation: Vice President Pence had the task of executing the plan to disavow enough Biden Electoral College voters to throw the race to Trump. Clark had to get Department of Justice to publicly declare that there had been criminal disruptions of voting nationwide. Congress can say what it wants.
Pence refused to go through with his plan despite being pressured by Meadows and others. Multiple Justice officials repeatedly gave Clark the door to his disgust, much to the chagrin of Trump. Clark and Meadows can only explain what happened, but their insights on what actually occurred, as it happened, would be extremely valuable.
Another witness has been added to the committee. He can provide an explanation of what 1/6 was like for those who were trapped in the building at the time of the attack. His inclusion is likely to have eyebrows wandering down at Mar-a-Lago. Mike Pence has agreedMarc Short, his former chief of staff, was allowed to cooperate with the committee.
“Short remains one of Pence’s closest advisers and is a firsthand witness to many critical events the committee is examining,” reports CNN, “including what happened to Pence at the Capitol on January 6 and how former President Donald Trump pressured the former vice president not to certify the presidential election that day. Short’s assistance signals a greater openness among Pence’s inner circle. One source told CNN the committee is getting ‘significant cooperation with Team Pence,’ even if the committee has not openly discussed that. Another source claimed that another source had told them. CNN that Short’s help is an example of the ‘momentum’ the investigation is enjoying behind the scenes.”
This is potentially fascinating, and not just because we might hear Short explain what it felt like to watch a violent mob of Trump voters chanting for the death of Trump’s own vice president, his immediate boss. Trump himself can only perceive Pence’s cooperation as another betrayal, and a direct threat to himself.
Pence may also be popping up in places like New Hampshire IowaAs any self-respecting potential presidential candidate for 2024, he is also called. Trump, not yet a declared candidate but leaning hard into fundraising for that endeavor, is already grinding his teeth over the popularity in conservative circles of Florida’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis.
If Pence joins DeSantis in the list of people Trump suspects could challenge Trump next year, we could soon witness a massive MY-PARTY MY-PARTY tantrum by the former president, even though he doesn’t decide to run. In the immortal words HighlanderTrump can only be in the picture as long as he is there.
Meadows can still expect to get important paperwork soon. The committee continues to work.