Donald Trump’s 2020 Cronies Appear to Be Ditching Him One by One
Donald Trump, already bracing for more of his codefendants to flip in the Fulton County case, now has to grapple with testimony that his former White House chief of staff reportedly provided to a federal grand jury in Washington. An ABC News report on Tuesday revealed that Mark Meadows had discussions with special counsel Jack Smith’s team about efforts by the former president to overturn the results of the 2020 election; per the outlet, he was also granted immunity from prosecution before speaking in front of a grand jury. Meadows reportedly admitted to investigators that he repeatedly told Trump that his complaints of voter fraud were baseless following the 2020 election.
“Obviously we didn’t win,” Meadows reportedly told Smith’s team. In talks with federal investigators, Meadows also apparently said that Trump’s premature declaration of victory on the night of the 2020 election was “dishonest.”
It remains unclear when Meadows received immunity, but ABC reported that he appeared before a grand jury once in March and spoke to Smith’s team on at least two separate occasions. According to ABC, Meadows’s request for immunity came ahead of his grand jury appearance and was approved by a senior Justice Department official; the immunity order was subsequently issued by US District Court judge James Boasberg. Sources who spoke to the outlet said that prosecutors believed Meadows would invoke the Fifth Amendment absent an immunity deal. However, Meadows’s lawyer, George Terwilliger, has called ABC’s account “largely inaccurate,” telling CBS News: “People will have to judge for themselves the decision to run it anyway.”
In a post on Truth Social, Trump shared his own doubts about the report, writing, “I don’t think Mark Meadows would lie about the Rigged and Stollen 2020 Presidential Election merely for getting IMMUNITY against Prosecution (PERSECUTION!) by Deranged Prosecutor, Jack Smith.” He added: “Some people would make that deal, but they are weaklings and cowards, and so bad for the future [of] our Failing Nation. I don’t think that Mark Meadows is one of them, but who really knows?”
Trump has already seen a number of his codefendants flip to the prosecution in the Fulton County criminal case around his alleged attempts to tamper with the 2020 election results in Georgia. Over the past week, three of his former attorneys—Jenna Ellis, Kenneth Chesebro, and Sidney Powell—struck plea deals with Fulton County district attorney Fani Willis.
Meadows has not been charged in the federal case and has pleaded not guilty to charges he faces in Fulton County. He sought to transfer the case against him from state to federal court, but a federal judge last month denied the motion. Meadows, in turn, issued an appeal to the 11th Circuit Court that is still pending.
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