Mark Meadows, former White House chief of staff under Donald Trump, pointed a finger “directly” at the ex-president during his testimony in Georgia on Monday, former Pentagon Special Counsel Ryan Goodman said.
Meadows took the stand in hopes of moving his racketeering case related to alleged efforts to overturn Georgia’s 2020 presidential election results from a state court to a federal one. The former Trump official spent his nearly three-hour testimony speaking about his duties serving the ex-president, and claimed that his actions related to the Georgia indictment fell under his responsibilities as chief of staff.
During the hearing, however, Meadows may have further helped Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ case, who has accused Trump and his allies of devising a fake- elector scheme to flip his loss to President Joe Biden in several key swing states in 2020, including Georgia.
After being asked during the hearing Monday about an email in which Meadows reportedly worked to coordinate the purported group of fake electors, the ex-chief of staff told Willis that he didn’t want Trump’s 2020 “campaign to prevail in certain areas and then not have this” succeed.
When further pried about why he wouldn’t want that to happen, Meadows responded, “Well, because I know I would get yelled at if we had not.” He later affirmed that he would have received such backlash from “the President of the United States.”
“I would imagine that their defense counsel are quite worried about that testimony,” said Goodman, who appeared on CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront” on Friday. “It’s bad for President Trump, because it is directly pointing the finger at him by saying, ‘he would have yelled at me if I didn’t do this.'”
“That means that President Trump is directly involved in the false-elector scheme,” Goodman continued. “That’s the kind of evidence that prosecutors need, and it also shows the intensity of President Trump’s interest in it.”
Several legal experts have speculated that Meadows’ decision to testify, which subjected him to cross-examination, was likely a risky move by the defendant. Goodman previously suggested that the ex-chief of staff may have also perjured himself during testimony, pointing at a recent filing from Willis who notes that while Meadows told prosecutors that he did not play a role in the fake-elector scheme, “the defendant was forced to acknowledge under cross-examination that he had in fact given direction to a campaign official in this regard.”
Goodman added during his CNN appearance that he anticipates the hearing is as “horrible” for Meadows as it could be for the former president.
“His entire argument is based on … that he was taking everything he was doing was within his governmental authority in the office of the chief of staff, but he is saying in his own words, the ‘reason I did this was to preserve an option for the campaign,'” Goodman said.
“That’s a pure campaign trying to win the election type issue,” he added. “There’s nothing about the federal government’s authority with respect to that particular item.”
Newsweek has reached out to Trump’s campaign team via email for comment on Meadows’ testimony.