Mark Meadows, Trump's former chief of staff, has been granted immunity and has shared significant details with special counsel Jack Smith about Trump's post-election actions.
Meadows has had multiple interactions with Smith's team this year. He has provided insights that could be pivotal in understanding the former president's actions and intentions after the 2020 election.
Meadows has reportedly informed the special counsel that he had cautioned Trump about the baseless nature of significant voting fraud allegations post the 2020 election. This revelation is in stark contrast to Trump's public claims about the election.
It's been revealed that Meadows had told federal investigators that Trump was being "dishonest" when he prematurely claimed victory on the night of November 3, 2020. This was before the final results were announced.
A source even quoted Meadows as saying, "Obviously we didn't win," reflecting on those events, ABC News reported.
Trump has always held Meadows in high regard, often referring to him as a "special friend" and praising his capabilities as a chief of staff. However, the information Meadows has shared with investigators paints a different picture of the events that transpired after the election.
Investigators were particularly interested in understanding the nature of conversations Meadows had with Trump during his final months in office. They also probed into the claims made in Meadows' book, which was published after Trump left office.
While Meadows' book claims the election was "stolen" and "rigged" with the help of the "liberal media," his statements to the investigators seem to contradict this.
He has reportedly told the investigators that he hasn't seen any evidence of fraud that would have prevented Joe Biden from becoming the president. He even agreed with the government's assessment that the 2020 election was the most secure in U.S. history.
It's noteworthy that Meadows was granted immunity after his lawyer requested it. This immunity ensures that the information he provided cannot be used against him in a federal prosecution. Without this immunity, it was expected that Meadows would invoke his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.
Trump had been questioning the integrity of the election months before the actual Election Day. As the results started coming in and Trump began losing key states, he declared on national television that there was "a major fraud."
According to sources, Meadows had informed Trump by mid-December that Rudy Giuliani, who was leading the legal efforts to keep Trump in office, hadn't produced any evidence to support the fraud allegations.
This was also confirmed by then-attorney general Bill Barr in an Oval Office meeting.
Despite running out of legal options, Trump remained adamant about the alleged widespread fraud. Meadows, during his interactions with investigators, was asked if Trump ever admitted to him about losing the election.
Meadows responded that he never heard Trump make such an admission.
On January 2, 2021, Meadows played a role in setting up the phone call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger. During this call, Trump urged Raffensberger to "find 11,780 votes" as Trump believed he had won the state.
Meadows' book, titled "The Chief's Chief," was published with the help of a ghostwriter. The book aimed to "correct the record" about Trump's time in the White House.
However, sources have indicated that Meadows doesn't necessarily stand by some of the statements made in his book.
For instance, while his book claims that the Justice Department didn't seriously investigate the election fraud allegations, Meadows told investigators that he believed the department took the allegations seriously and did everything possible to find legitimate cases of fraud.
Despite these contradictions, Trump promoted Meadows' book, emphasizing its discussions about the alleged "large-scale Election Fraud."
While Meadows hasn't been charged in the federal case led by Smith, he, along with Trump, Giuliani, and 16 others, faces charges in Georgia for allegedly trying to overturn the state's election results.
Four of those charged have already pleaded guilty and will testify for the prosecution. The rest, including Meadows, Trump, and Giuliani, have pleaded not guilty and await trial.
Meadows has also been trying to move the Georgia case against him to federal court, but his efforts have been denied. He is currently appealing that decision.
In response to these developments, a spokesperson for Trump's presidential campaign stated that Trump remains undeterred by these "Biden witch-hunts" and will continue his efforts to "Make America Great Again."