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Mark Meadows testified to federal grand jury in special counsel probe of Trump

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows speaks with reporters at the White House on Oct. 21, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(CNN) — Mark Meadows, Donald Trump’s former chief of staff, has testified to a federal grand jury as part of special counsel Jack Smith’s ongoing investigation into the former president, according to one source familiar with the matter.

Meadows was asked about the former president’s handling of classified documents as well as efforts to overturn the 2020 election, another source familiar with the matter said.

George Terwilliger, a lawyer representing Meadows, said in a statement that “Without commenting on whether or not Mr. Meadows has testified before the grand jury or in any other proceeding, Mr. Meadows has maintained a commitment to tell the truth where he has a legal obligation to do so.”

A spokesperson for the special counsel’s office declined to comment.

The New York Times first reported on Meadow’s appearance before the grand jury.

Meadows is viewed as a critical witness to Smith’s investigation. He was ordered to testify before the grand jury and to provide documents after a judge rejected Trump’s claims of executive privilege.

His testimony could provide investigators key insight into the former president’s actions and mental state following the election he lost to Joe Biden as well as into Trump’s actions after he left office in January 2021.

CNN previously reported that Meadows, under subpoena, turned over some materials to the Justice Department as part of their investigation.

Multiple sources told CNN last week that Smith has focused on a meeting related to Meadows as part of his criminal investigation into Trump’s handling of documents. Two people working on the former chief of staff’s autobiography attended a meeting in Bedminster, New Jersey, in July 2021 where Trump acknowledged he held onto a classified Pentagon document about a potential attack on Iran, the sources said. The meeting was recorded, but it is unknown from where the Justice Department first obtained the recording. Meadows didn’t attend the meeting.

A source close to Trump’s legal team told CNN earlier in May that Trump’s lawyers had had no contact with Meadows and his team and were in the dark on what Meadows is doing in the investigation. Meadows’ silence has irked lawyers representing other defendants aligned with Trump who have been more open, several sources familiar with the Trump-aligned legal teams said at the time. In particular, they pointed to a $900,000 payment Trump’s Save America political action committee paid to the firm representing Meadows, McGuireWoods, at the end of last year.

Meadows’ testimony and records were hotly pursued in multiple investigations around January 6 and the 2020 election, although he had stopped short of providing answers to the House select committee and a criminal investigation in Fulton County, Georgia.

A juror on the Atlanta-based grand jury shared earlier this year that Meadows had testified but declined to answer questions, saying Meadows cited his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination as well as other privileges.

That may indicate Meadows required from federal prosecutors in Smith’s investigation an assurance he wouldn’t be charged with a crime if they sought his substantial testimony.

While Meadows refused to testify in front of the January 6 House select committee, the Justice Department declined to charge him with a crime on those grounds.

The panel said that Meadows appeared to be one of several participants in a criminal conspiracy as part of Trump’s attempt to delay and overturn the results of the 2020 election. Its final report paints Meadows as an integral part of that effort, as documented by the more than 2,000 text messages Meadows turned over to the committee before he stopped cooperating.

The government has been presenting evidence in both probes for months to grand juries in Washington, DC. Prosecutors are also using a grand jury based in Miami in the classified documents probe, bringing in multiple witnesses in recent weeks.

CNN previously reported that Secret Service agents assigned to protect the former president have been called to testify in the classified documents probe. Another source familiar with the matter tells CNN that every member of his detail – more than 20 agents – have testified.

This story has been updated with additional information.