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    Friday, March 01, 2024

    Meadows, former Trump chief of staff, gets immunity in D.C. election-interference probe

    Washington — Mark Meadows, the final chief of staff to Donald Trump, has been given immunity from prosecution in the election-interference probe against the former president in Washington and has testified before a grand jury hearing evidence in the case, according to a person familiar with the events.

    In his testimony before the grand jury being used by special counsel John “Jack” Smith, Meadows said he repeatedly told Trump in the weeks following the conclusion of the 2020 election that claims of election fraud were baseless, according to the person, who asked not to be named discussing non-public information.

    Meadows’ immunity deal was earlier reported by ABC News.

    Meadows was a central player in the investigation under the purview of Smith and his staff exploring efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

    Trump had unsuccessfully fought a grand jury subpoena for testimony from Meadows and other former senior administration advisers. A federal appeals court cleared the way for Meadows’ appearance in April, but he remained conspicuously unseen at the federal courthouse in Washington where the grand jury sat, even as other ex-aides who were part of the earlier subpoena fight showed up to testify.

    Speculation that Meadows might turn on his former boss and cooperate with federal investigators began after the Justice Department declined to prosecute him for refusing to comply with a subpoena to turn over documents to the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. He had handed over more than 2,000 text messages to the committee, but then waged his own, ultimately unsuccessful court fight to contest the subpoena.

    The Jan. 6 committee’s report, released in December, relied on witness testimony and other information — including Meadows’ own messaging — to place him in the thick of a series of key meetings and actions inside the White House during the run-up to the U.S. Capitol attack, as well as other activities and communications on the day of the insurrection.

    Meadows was not among the six unindicted co-conspirators described in the August indictment returned against Trump.

    With assistance from Billy House.

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