The unusual move came after a meeting between then-President Donald Trump’s then-chief of staff and the Pennsylvania Republican, according to recent testimony.
Then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows burned papers in his office after meeting with a House Republican who was working to challenge the 2020 election, according to testimony the Jan. 6 select committee has heard from one of his former aides.
Cassidy Hutchinson, who worked under Meadows when he was former President Donald Trump’s chief of staff, told the panel investigating the Capitol attack that she saw Meadows incinerate documents after a meeting in his office with Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.). A person familiar with the testimony described it on condition of anonymity.
The Meadows-Perry meeting came in the weeks after Election Day 2020, as Trump and his allies searched for ways to reverse the election results.
It’s unclear whether Hutchinson told the committee which specific papers were burnt, and if federal records laws required the materials’ preservation. Meadows’ destruction of papers is a key focus for the select committee, and the person familiar with the testimony said investigators pressed Hutchinson for details about the issue for more than 90 minutes during a recent deposition.
POLITICO could not independently confirm that Meadows burned papers after a meeting with Perry.
A lawyer for Meadows declined to comment, as did a spokesperson for the Jan. 6 committee. A lawyer for Hutchinson did not respond to requests for comment, and neither did a spokesperson for Perry.
Before the 2020 election, Perry — who represents the Harrisburg, Pa. region — had a relatively low national profile. But testimony and documents obtained by congressional investigators show he was the first person to connect Trump with Jeffrey Clark, a top Justice Department official who sympathized with the then-president’s efforts to overturn his loss to Joe Biden.
Senior Trump DOJ officials have testified that the former president came close to appointing Clark as acting attorney general in order to use the department’s extraordinary powers to sow doubt about the election results and urge state legislatures to consider overriding Biden’s victory.
Perry, now chair of the pro-Trump House Freedom Caucus, spent weeks pressing Meadows to implement the plan.
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