Mark Meadows, former President Donald Trump’s chief of staff, has reportedly been granted immunity to testify under oath in the Department of Justice case against Trump and his allies regarding their efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
Meadows had spoken with special counsel Jack Smith’s team at least three times this year — including before a federal grand jury, which occurred only after the Republican was given immunity, ABC News reported Tuesday, citing “sources familiar with the matter.” Bloomberg later confirmed the report.
According to the reports, Meadows told prosecutors that he repeatedly warned Trump in the weeks after the 2020 election that allegations of voter fraud in the presidential race were unsubstantiated. Trump claimed, despite heaping evidence showing otherwise, that the election was fraudulent and that he was the rightful winner, not Democrat Joe Biden. Meadows was one of many Trump loyalists who publicly backed his tirades at the time.
The chief of staff also told Smith’s team that Trump was being “dishonest” with the public on Nov. 3, 2020, when he first began alleging that he won the election before all votes were tallied, ABC News reported.
That dishonesty, however, did not stop Meadows from supporting the president and helping spread election lies. Cassidy Hutchinson, Meadows’ former aide, testified before the House committee investigating the 2021 Capitol riot that her boss warned “things might get real, real bad on Jan. 6.” Marc Short, who was chief of staff for former Vice President Mike Pence, told CNN that Meadows “was a ringleader” for much of what unfolded politically around Jan. 6, 2021.
Because Smith’s team granted him immunity, any information Meadows testified before the grand jury cannot be used against him in a federal prosecution.
While he was not charged in the Justice Department’s case, Meadows was indicted alongside Trump and 17 others in Fulton County on charges that he tried to undo the 2020 election in Georgia. The former chief of staff was responsible for setting up the infamous phone call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, where the then-president demanded Raffensperger “find 11,780 votes.”
Meadows has pleaded not guilty in the Georgia probe, and is awaiting trial after a judge denied his request to move his case to federal court.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article said Meadows had repeatedly warned Trump about the veracity of voter fraud claims before the 2020 election. His warnings came after Election Day.