Mark Meadows has so far managed to elude a criminal probe in Georgia focused on former President Donald Trump's effort to overturn 2020 election results in the state.
But a new report suggests some of the former Trump White House chief of staff's innermost secrets may be revealed to investigators regardless of whether or not he chooses to cooperate.
CNN reported Monday that former Meadows aide Cassidy Hutchinson, whose bombshell testimony during a House Jan. 6 committee hearing in June shifted the investigation’s scope, is also cooperating with the probe in Fulton County. Neither MSNBC nor NBC News has independently confirmed CNN's reporting.
As CNN noted, Meadows, who’s in a court battle to avoid testifying in the Fulton County probe, likely has valuable info:
Prosecutors have called for Meadows to testify before the special grand jury, but they are still working to secure his testimony. A hearing on the matter is scheduled for late October. Meadows was among the participants on the January 2021 call between Trump and Georgia’s secretary of state Brad Raffensperger, and Meadows also made a surprise visit to a Cobb County location in December 2020, where officials were conducting an absentee ballot signature audit.
Hutchinson’s reported cooperation is not a good sign for Meadows if he wants to keep the special grand jury conducting the inquiry from gaining insight into his actions on and Jan. 6, 2021.
In this post I wrote following Hutchinson’s testimony to the Jan. 6 committee in June, I explain why she’s a “not-so-secret weapon” for investigators probing Trump’s attempt to overturn the election. The short of it is that Jan. 6 committee member Jamie Raskin, D-Md., said in May that young staffers from the Trump administration, like Hutchinson, were often deeply involved in their bosses’ work. And they’ve apparently been extremely helpful to the committee.
“We are definitely taking advantage of the fact that most senior-level people in Washington depend on a lot of young associates and subordinates to get anything done,” Raskin said in a Politico interview.
“A lot of these people still have their ethics intact and don’t want to squander the rest of their careers for other people’s mistakes and corruption,” he added.
Hutchinson delivered the “goods” (that is, detailed allegations of impropriety) during her June testimony. She alleged Trump knew attendees at the rally that immediately preceded the Jan. 6 attack were armed and claimed he told security they weren’t there to harm him. She also alleged a White House aide describe a tense encounter Trump had with security after they refused to drive him to the Capitol as the Jan. 6 violence was unfolding.
As ABC News and CNN reported in July, Hutchinson is believed to be cooperating with the Justice Department in its probe of Trump’s efforts to subvert the 2020 election. She clearly has knowledge of officials at the epicenter of Trump's world, their movements post-election and Meadows' potential motivations.
And investigators in Georgia, including Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, likely want the scoop.