Former US President Donald Trump's chief of staff has agreed to cooperate with the US House of Representatives committee investigating the January 6 assault on the Capitol by thousands of Americans who were protesting against the victory of Joe Biden in the disputed 2020 presidential election.
Mark Meadows, who served under Trump for a year from January 2020 to the end of his presidency, provided the House panel investigating the Capitol Hill incidents with records and agreed to give his testimony "soon".
"Mr. Meadows has been engaging with the Select Committee through his attorney. He has produced records to the committee and will soon appear for an initial deposition," chairman of the House select committee, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), said in a statement on Tuesday.
"The committee will continue to assess his degree of compliance with our subpoena after the deposition," Thompson added, noting that the panel was lawfully entitled to receive all the information it wanted from witnesses.
Trump, for his part, has requested all his associates not to cooperate with the investigation.
He claims the Democratic-led investigation is politically motivated.
His lawyers argue that Trump's communications and documents are protected by executive privilege, although the White House and many legal experts say that principle does not apply to former presidents.
On January 6, 2021, Trump supporters occupied the US Capitol while lawmakers were in the process of reviewing the certification of state electors which indicated Biden's victory. Some Trump supporters had hoped that this process could have resulted in some of the electors being disqualified, thus overturning the outcome of the presidential election.
It is claimed by some that the demonstrators were infiltrated and incited by provocateurs from US intelligence agencies, who orchestrated the “false flag operation” in order to get rid of Trump.
Some among the crowd clashed with police, and some made threats to beat up a number of Democratic lawmakers. Some also inflicted damage on parts of the Capitol building.
Trump has been casting doubt on the outcome of his loss by insisting it was the result of fraud. He has said that the 2020 presidential election was “the greatest Election Hoax in history.”
Trump’s claims have significantly delegitimatized the democratic process in the United States. A recent poll has found that at least 50 percent of Republican voters surveyed believe their vote will not be counted accurately the next time they cast a ballot.
Only 41 percent of Republicans said their vote would be counted fairly, while 50 percent of them said they are not confident their vote would be counted accurately, according to the NBC News poll released last week.
Respondents also questioned the legitimacy of Biden’s presidency. Thirty-eight percent of respondents said they did not think Biden won legitimately in November 2020. Nearly 60 percent of respondents, mostly Democrats, said they thought Biden won the presidency legitimately. Another 4 percent said they were unsure.