A former White House official told the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the US Capitol that former President Donald Trump’s former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, had been briefed on reports intelligence that showed the potential for violence that day, according to transcripts. released Friday night.
Cassidy Hutchinson, who served as a special assistant in the Trump White House, told the committee that “there were concerns raised” with Meadows before the riots, but it was unclear what Meadows made of that information.
“I just remember that Mr. Ornato came in and said we had intelligence that said there could be violence on the 6th,” Hutchinson said, presumably referring to Anthony Ornato, a senior Secret Service official. “And Mr. Meadows said, ‘Okay. Let’s talk about it.'”
Friday’s filing also reinforced how deeply certain Republican members of Congress were deeply involved in White House discussions about nullifying the election in the months leading up to the deadly insurrection.
Hutchinson describes several calls involving Meadows and members of the far-right House Freedom Caucus in late November and early December in which the participants discussed what Vice President Mike Pence’s role might be on January 6, in addition to the ceremonial role he was to perform.
On those calls, according to Hutchinson, were representatives of Trump’s legal team, including Rudy Giuliani, Jenna Ellis and Sidney Powell, as well as representatives Jim Jordan and Scott Perry.
The committee’s filing is in response to a lawsuit Meadows filed in December in Washington federal court against the committee and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The lawsuit asked a judge to invalidate two subpoenas Meadows received from the committee, saying they were “too broad and unduly burdensome.” The lawsuit went on to accuse the committee of overreaching by issuing a subpoena to Verizon to obtain his cell phone records.
Shortly after the complaint was filed, the select committee sent a contempt of Congress charge against Meadows to the House floor, where it passed on a near partisan vote. It was the first time the chamber had voted to hold a former member in contempt since the 1830s.
While an earlier contempt referral against former Trump adviser Steve Bannon resulted in an indictment, the Justice Department has taken longer to decide whether to prosecute Meadows.
The criminal case against Meadows is more complex than the one brought against Bannon, in part because Meadows had begun to cooperate with the committee, including providing documents to the nine-member panel.
Meadows’ attorney, George Terwilliger, previously defended his client, saying that because of Meadows’ willingness to turn over the records, he should not be required to appear for an interview. Terwilliger did not immediately return an email seeking comment Friday night.