Mark Meadows may be trying to cover up ‘quite incriminating’ Trump statements: analysis
Gage Skidmore.

Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows may be trying to cover up incriminating evidence about Donald Trump's state of mind during the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

On Wednesday, The New York Times reported the Jan. 6 Select Committee Investigating the Jan. 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol has heard that Trump approved of then-Vice President Mike Pence being hung by Trump supporters for not overturning the 2020 presidential election, which was won by Democrat Joe Biden.

"Shortly after hundreds of rioters at the Capitol started chanting “Hang Mike Pence!” on Jan. 6, 2021, the White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, left the dining room off the Oval Office, walked into his own office and told colleagues that President Donald J. Trump was complaining that the vice president was being whisked to safety," the newspaper reported. "Mr. Meadows, according to an account provided to the House committee investigating Jan. 6, then told the colleagues that Mr. Trump had said something to the effect of, maybe Mr. Pence should be hanged."

In a new analysis published by The Washington Post, Greg Sargent and Paul Waldman explain why the comment matters.

"These new details, according to the Times, were provided to the Jan. 6 committee by witnesses to Meadows’s recounting of it. Remember, Meadows himself is not cooperating with the committee; this suggests that what he may be covering up is quite incriminating," they explained. "Again, we don’t know whether Trump was joking. But the larger context of that day’s events is key: The rioters focused on Pence because Trump told them that Pence was the reason the election was being allegedly stolen from Trump."

Trump's comments could show Trump saw the rioters as a weapon he could wield.

"In this context, Trump’s comment about Pence hanging — and Trump’s apparent irritation that Pence was being whisked to safety — reinforce the likelihood that he actively wanted Pence to feel vulnerable to the mob’s pressure. This can be true even if Trump didn’t literally want or envision Pence’s hanging," they explained. "If so, this means that even as the mob was going on an appallingly destructive rampage that would ultimately lead to deaths and injuries, Trump came to see this as useful to his cause. That would be an extraordinary dereliction of duty at best."

Read the full analysis.