Mark Meadows pleads guilty as part of immunity deal against Trump: report
Editor's note: This story was updated for clarity and to include statements from Meadows' attorney.
Mark Meadows, the former Trump White House Chief of Staff and former North Carolina Republican Congressman, reportedly has accepted a plea deal from the Dept. of Justice in exchange for pleading guilty to federal charges.
According to The Independent’s Andrew Feinberg, Meadows has also been co-operating with Special Counsel Jack Smith’s investigators, which several legal experts have recently suggested was likely happening.
“Over the course of the last year, grand jurors have heard testimony from numerous associates of the ex-president, including nearly every employee of Mar-a-Lago, former administration officials who worked in Mr Trump’s post-presidential office and for his political operation, and former high-ranking administration officials such as his final White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows,” Feinberg reports at The Independent.
“Mr Meadows has already given evidence before the grand jury and is said to be cooperating with the investigation into his former boss,” the article, published Wednesday afternoon, states. “It is understood that the former North Carolina congressman will plead guilty to several federal charges as part of a deal for which he has already received limited immunity in exchange for his testimony.”
In an update to its reporting, The Independent adds Meadows' attorney denies he would ever enter any guilty plea:"A source who was briefed on the agreement claimed that the alleged agreement will involve the ex-chief of staff entering pleas of guilty to unspecified federal crimes but an attorney for Mr. Meadows, George Terwilliger, denied that to The Independent. Mr. Terwilliger said that the idea that his client would enter any guilty pleas was 'complete bulls***' but did not address the matter of immunity in a brief telephone conversation with this reporter."
But in addition to breaking news that Meadows allegedly has accepted a plea deal, The Independent reports Trump is expected to be indicted under a portion of the Espionage Act. NCRM has not verified either of these reports.
“The Department of Justice is preparing to ask a Washington, DC grand jury to indict former president Donald Trump for violating the Espionage Act and for obstruction of justice as soon as Thursday.”
“The Independent has learned that prosecutors are ready to ask grand jurors to approve an indictment against Mr Trump for violating a portion of the US criminal code known as Section 793, which prohibits ‘gathering, transmitting or losing’ any ‘information respecting the national defence,'” The Independent adds.
In early June, former Nixon White House Counsel John Dean remarked, “Meadows has a really good lawyer, a former deputy AG, who could guide him through cooperation and a minimal plea deal of some sort.”
That attorney, George Terwilliger, played coy when asked about his client’s possible grand jury testimony. Terwilliger told The New York Times in an article published late Tuesday, “Without commenting on whether or not Mr. Meadows has testified before the grand jury or in any other proceeding, Mr. Meadows has maintained a commitment to tell the truth where he has a legal obligation to do so.”
Former Deputy Asst. Attorney General Harry Litman on Tuesday said, “I’ve already observed Terwilliger’s skill in representing Meadows. But if he got him an immunity deal–as opposed to a guilty plea + promise to cooperate deal–he is a wizard. [Would] think that Meadows is way too culpable to merit a pass, but if Smith [couldn’t] make case w/o him…”
U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA), a former JAG attorney, tweeted on Tuesday:
“Mark Meadows had three options: 1. Take the Fifth Amendment. 2. Voluntarily cooperate. 3. Cooperate because he was given immunity or a plea deal. Based on the public reporting, it appears he did 2 or 3 above. This makes it more likely Donald Trump will be indicted, again.”
Meadows is a former chair of the far right House Freedom Caucus, and former chair of the House Oversight Committee.
This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change.
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