In the weeks after the 2020 election, then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows met with Rep. Scott Perry, a Pennsylvania Republican who was trying to get the election results overturned. Afterwards, Meadows burned documents in his office, his former aide Cassidy Hutchinson told the Jan. 6 committee, Politico reported on Thursday, citing a person familiar with her testimony.
It’s unclear which papers Meadows may have burned, but the issue is a “key focus” of the committee, which grilled Hutchinson over the incident for around 90 minutes, according to Politico.
Lawyers for Meadows and Hutchinson and a spokesperson for Perry did not offer comment to the outlet, which could not independently confirm that Meadows incinerated papers.
Perry, along with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), and Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), was issued a subpoena earlier this month by the committee. (Perry’s deadline to respond is Thursday). The committee noted that Perry was “directly involved with efforts to corrupt the Department of Justice and install Jeffrey Clark as acting Attorney General.” Then-President Donald Trump considered doing just that in order to help convince state legislatures to overturn the election results, former officials in Trump’s Department of Justice have testified. Trump backed off after many in the department threatened to quit.
According to a deposition from last November, Clark drafted a letter addressed to Georgia’s governor and state leaders about election results there, and how to get them overturned. A transcript of the deposition hearing suggests that the White House Communications Agency was involved with drafting the letter.
Trump administration figures have a history of less-than-normal — and potentially illegal — ways of handling and disposing of documents. White House staff would regularly find torn up wads of paper clogging Trump’s toilet, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman wrote in her book Confidence Man. It has also been reported that Trump liked to rip up pieces of paper. (One former aide also claimed she saw him chewing one up). Earlier this year, boxes of White House documents were found at Mar-a-Lago, with the National Archives saying some of the contents were marked as classified. The Times reported earlier this month that federal prosecutors are investigating whether Trump tampered with the documents he took to Palm Beach.