Print and Tell
Mark Meadows is both releasing a book on his time as former President Donald Trump's chief staff next week and also appearing before the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol raid by Trump supporters. His lawyer says he still plans to shield some of his testimony behind Trump's claim of executive privilege, but the Jan. 6 committee and some outside legal experts say the revelations in his forthcoming book may have ruined that plan, Politico reports.
It's "very possible that by discussing the events of Jan. 6 in his book, if he does that, he's waiving any claim of privilege," says Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said. "So, it'd be very difficult for him to maintain 'I can't speak about events to you, but I can speak about them in my book.'" If Meadows' book describes Trump's actions leading up to Jan. 6, "it's a waiver legally," Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) concurred.
"I've seen excerpts from it. Some of what we plan to ask him is in the excerpts of the book," committee chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said Thursday. "I think, obviously, anything in our group's opinion, is germane, but that's his prerogative to try to assert executive privilege or whatever."
But even if the courts bless Trump's privilege claims for internal White House deliberations, "if the same information is made public, there can be no valid claim to a right to withhold it from Congress," Mark Rozell, a George Mason University professor and expert on executive privilege, told Politico. "It is hard to imagine a stronger measure of contempt for Congress' authority than to refuse to cooperate with an investigation but being willing to present the requested information in the public domain to sell books." In fact, added University of Minnesota law professor Heidi Kitrosser, Meadows' book "enhances the need for Congress to get the full story."
Read more, including a counterargument from former President George W. Bush's deputy White House counsel, Tim Flanigan, at Politico.