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Mark Meadows, Rudy Giuliani deny asking for pardons

In sworn testimony before the House Jan. 6 committee, Cassidy Hutchinson, a former top aide to Meadows, alleged that both men had sought pardons.
Image: Then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows speaks to reporters outside the West Wing of the White House on Aug. 28, 2020.
Mark Meadows, then the White House chief of staff,  speaks to reporters outside the West Wing of the White House on Aug. 28, 2020.Alex Wong / Getty Images file

Rudy Giuliani, a longtime ally of former President Donald Trump, and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows are denying allegations that they sought pardons from Trump after the Jan. 6, 2021, attack at the U.S. Capitol.

In bombshell testimony Tuesday before the House committee investigating the deadly attack, Cassidy Hutchinson, a former top aide to Meadows, said under oath that both men had asked about pardons for themselves.

A spokesperson for Meadows said Wednesday that “Meadows never sought a pardon and never planned to.”

In a statement shared late Tuesday by his lawyer, Robert Costello, Giuliani said: “Not only didn’t I ever request a pardon. I told my client, President Trump, that if I was offered a pardon, I would turn it down. Since I had done nothing wrong, there was no need for a pardon.”

Giuliani, one of the most prominent supporters of Trump’s stolen election lies, gave a more confusing account Wednesday on Twitter, saying Hutchinson was a "reckless liar" who "was never present when I asked for a pardon."

"Actually, I told the President I did not want or need one," he added. He later deleted the tweet.

Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, testified for nine hours before the House committee last month. It is unclear whether he was asked about the pardons.

In a public Jan. 6 hearing last week, it was revealed that another former Trump lawyer, John Eastman, told Giuliani in an email after Jan. 6: “I’ve decided that I should be on the pardon list, if that is still in the works.”

Meadows has refused to testify before the committee. The House voted in December to refer him to the Justice Department for criminal contempt of Congress, but the Justice Department has declined to act on the request.

Hutchinson’s testimony also conflicted with Meadows' public claims that Trump was speaking "metaphorically" when he said in his speech at the Ellipse on Jan. 6 that he planned to march to the Capitol. Hutchinson testified that Trump was determined to go to the Capitol and was irate with Meadows for not helping to make the trip happen.

In an interview with The Washington Post this year, Trump said: “Secret Service said I couldn’t go. I would have gone there in a minute."

Hutchinson also testified that Trump initially had language included about pardons for people involved with Jan. 6 in remarks he was set to deliver on Jan. 7 but that he was persuaded to remove it by the office of White House counsel Pat Cipollone. She said Meadows had been "encouraging that language."

Asked whether Meadows had ever expressed interest in a pardon for himself, Hutchinson said, "Mr. Meadows did seek that pardon."