Donald Trump’s former chief of staff Mark Meadows has been subpoenaed by the special counsel investigating the former president and his role in the January 6, 2021, insurrection, a source familiar with the matter told CNN.
Special counsel Jack Smith’s office is seeking documents and testimony related to January 6, and Meadows received the subpoena sometime in January, the source said. An attorney for Meadows declined to comment.
The Justice Department did not respond to CNN’s request for comment on the subpoena.
The move to subpoena one of Trump’s most senior aides – in addition to the recent subpoena of former Vice President Mike Pence, as CNN reported last week – marks the latest significant step in the special counsel’s investigation into Trump’s role in seeking to overturn the outcome of the 2020 election.
Smith also is simultaneously investigating Trump’s handling of classified documents after leaving office. While the subpoena is related to January 6, Meadows also may be of interest in the documents investigation. He was one of Trump’s designees to the National Archives and played a role in discussions around returning government records in his possession.
The special counsel’s subpoena could set up a clash with the Justice Department and Meadows over executive privilege. The former White House chief of staff, citing executive privilege, previously fought a subpoena from a special grand jury in Georgia that was investigating efforts to overturn the 2020 election results. A judge later ordered Meadows to testify, finding him “material and necessary to the investigation.”
Meadows was involved in the infamous phone call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and in a December 2020 White House meeting about election fraud claims. Meadows also visited a site where an audit of Georgia’s election was underway and sent emails to Justice Department officials about unsubstantiated fraud allegations.
On January 6, Meadows was in and out of the Oval Office and witness to Trump’s actions as rioters overtook the US Capitol that day.
The recent subpoena for Meadows also underscores the aggressive nature of the special counsel’s probe. CNN has reported that Smith also has subpoenaed former Trump national security adviser Robert O’Brien in both of the Trump-related probes, and Justice Department lawyers interviewed Trump’s former acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf in recent weeks as part of the probe into 2020 election interference.