Former Trump White House Aide Claims Mark Meadows Burned Documents
By Jason Hall
December 28, 2022
Transcripts released by the House January 6 Committee on Tuesday (December 28) show that former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson said then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows regularly burned documents during the transition period between then-President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden, CNN reports.
Hutchinson also detailed how Meadows advised staffers to keep some Oval Office meetings "close hold" and potentially omitted from official records, according to CNN.
Hutchinson was also reported to have dueling loyalties, which led to her switching lawyers and giving damning testimony about what she saw and heard take place inside the White House after Trump's loss in the 2020 presidential election.
The House January 6 Committee accused Trump of having criminally engaged in a "multi-part conspiracy" to overturn the 2020 presidential election and failed to stop his supporters from storming the United States Capitol in its final report released and obtained by the Associated Press last Thursday (December 22).
Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson, who served as committee chair, wrote that Trump "lit that fire" that led to the January 6 insurrection in the 814-page report, which included interviews from more than 1,000 witnesses, as well information gathered from the 10 hearings held by the committee and millions of pages of documents obtained.
The witnesses interviewed -- which included many of Trump's closest aides, law enforcement officials and some of the January 6 rioters themselves -- detailed how the former president's "premeditated" actions in the weeks leading up to the incident and his public efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election directly influenced the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, which the nine-member bipartisan panel said threatened democracy and "put the lives of American lawmakers at risk," according to the AP.
The panel suggested that Congress consider barring Trump -- who has already announced his intention to run for president once again in 2024 -- from holding future office as part of a series of recommendations included in the final report.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a foreword to the report that the findings in the probe should be a “clarion call to all Americans: to vigilantly guard our Democracy and to give our vote only to those dutiful in their defense of our Constitution."
The release of the House January 6 Committee final report was delayed one day after initially being scheduled to take place last Wednesday (December 21).
The bipartisan committee included seven Democrats -- Thompson; Pete Aguilar of California; Zoe Lofgren of California; Elaine Luria of Virginia; Stephanie Murphy of Florida; Jamie Raskin of Maryland; and Adam Schiff of California -- and two Republicans -- Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois.
On December 20, the House Ways and Means Committee voted in favor of making six years of Trump's tax returns public following years of questions regarding his business and personal wealth that stem back to his initial presidential campaign, NBC News reported.
The committee will reportedly release Trump's during a House pro forma session scheduled at around 9:00 a.m. ET on Friday (December 30), a source with knowledge of the situation told CNN on Tuesday (December 27).
The panel voted along party lines just weeks ahead of the Republicans taking over House control in January.
The committee also criticized the IRS for its lack of mandatory audits of returns filed by presidents and vice presidents in relation to Trump, whose returns were only examined after the panel inquired about the process, according to a 29-page report released after the vote on Tuesday.
A separate 39-page report was released by the Joint Committee of Taxation Tuesday night, which summarized the former president's personal tax forms and business entities.
Records obtained by the Joint Committee of Taxation showed Trump appeared to owe nothing in taxes due to claiming $15 million in business loses, which led to him having negative $4 million in adjusted gross income before he claimed a $5 million refund.
Trump also reported millions in negative income between 2015 and 2017, as well as in 2020, having only paid $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017 and no taxes in 2020, according to the report.