Former W.H. Aide Caves & Agrees To Cooperate With Jan. 6 Probe

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Ben Williamson, who served as a top aide to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows at the time of last year’s attack on the Capitol by supporters of then-President Donald Trump, has now met with the House committee investigating the Capitol riot, according to a new report from CNN. Although the contents of Williamson’s apparently hours-long interactions with the committee weren’t immediately clear, he seems to have been in a prime position to provide pertinent information. CNN notes that Williamson “was in the West Wing of the White House while the attack on the US Capitol was underway.” Committee members have, among other points of concern, sought information about what was going on at the Trump White House.

Meadows has himself been targeted by the riot investigation committee, but investigators’ efforts to obtain information ran aground after he abruptly changed his tune and stopped cooperating. In the time since, the committee and the full House approved a contempt of Congress finding against Meadows, referring the matter to the Justice Department — although federal prosecutors have yet to reveal a case against Meadows. Ultimately, it’s up to prosecutors whether to charge Meadows following the House’s referral. Still, the riot panel recently made some strides with the successful acquisition of hundreds of pages of records from the Trump administration that former President Trump had sought to keep hidden, claiming the materials to be covered by executive privilege. The U.S. Supreme Court rejected Trump’s argument, and investigators swiftly obtained the materials, which seemingly included (among other things) handwritten notes from Meadows about January 6.

The House riot investigation committee is planning to host rounds of public hearings in the near future, essentially laying out the case for the American people. While it’s been over a year since the original incident, the threats that were represented by it have not somehow gone away. Even now, Trump refuses to let up with his open excusals of the Capitol rioters, even though — as has been well-documented — offenses that were committed at the Capitol that day include brutal physical assaults on police officers, among other gravely serious actions. Meanwhile, investigators at the Justice Department are also continuing their own pursuit of accountability. Just recently, the first charges referencing sedition tied to the riot were handed down, hitting Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes, among others. Rhodes and certain compatriots of his planned for violence in the lead-up to January 6.