Discovery materials show that Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows flipped and provided evidence to Special Counsel Jack Smith in both of the federal criminal cases.
But when prosecutors working for the special counsel, Jack Smith, challenged Mr. Trump’s executive privilege claims before a judge, Mr. Meadows pivoted. Even though he risked enraging Mr. Trump, he decided to trust Mr. Smith’s team, according to a person familiar with the matter. Mr. Meadows quietly arranged to talk with them not only about the steps the former president took to stay in office but also about his handling of classified documents after he left.
Mr. Meadows’s discussions with investigators did not surprise some on the Trump team. Mr. Trump, his advisers, and his allies had been deeply suspicious of Mr. Meadows for months. But having recently received discovery material from Mr. Smith’s team — evidence the prosecutors gathered during the inquiry — the Trump team now has visibility into what Mr. Meadows told investigators, according to people familiar with the matter.
There have been signs for quite a while that Meadows had flipped on Trump. The former White House chief of staff stopped taking Trump’s calls, never went on media to defend the former president, and wasn’t indicted for the plot to overturn the 2020 election. Mark Meadows has been in self-protection mode for a long time.
Meadows tried to play the game of cooperating with prosecutors but not agreeing to a formal deal. Mark Meadows doesn’t want to burn his MAGA bridges but also does not want to go to prison.
Donald Trump demanded total loyalty from the people around him, but the witnesses against the former president in his criminal trials will be MAGA Republicans.
Mark Meadows is saying he just followed orders as he tries to pin it all on Donald Trump.