Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows faces contempt charges from the House select committee. The panel investigating the January 6 Capitol riot wants Meadows charged for contempt for defying a subpoena.
Mark Meadows Refused To Answer Questions About January 6
Mark Meadows was chief of staff under former President Donald Trump. He refused to sit for a deposition and answer questions about the January 6 Capitol riots.
Meadows became the third Trump official to face potential criminal charges regarding the January 6 riots.
The bipartisan, nine-member panel voted unanimously in its resolution to charge Mark Meadows for contempt. It also included a recommendation to refer Meadows to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution.
The 51-page contempt report lays out Meadows’ refusal to fully comply with the subpoena. This includes ordering him to submit records to the committee.
The House panel also asked him to sit for a deposition with the investigators. For both requests, Meadows refused to cooperate with House officials.
Mark Meadows Initially Cooperated
Initially, Mark Meadows handed thousands of records. However, he reversed course and began refusing any orders to cooperate.
Meadows cited Trump’s argument that his testimony remains protected by executive privilege. “When the records raise questions — as these most certainly do — you have to come in and answer those questions,” select committee chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) said.
“And when it was time for him to follow the law, come in, and testify on those questions, he changed his mind and told us to pound sand. He didn’t even show up,” Thompson said. However, earlier records produced by Meadows gave details about what the White House knew.
Trump Supporters Panicked During January 6
Panel vice-chair Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Representative Adama Schiff (D-CA) read out a series of panicked messages sent last January 6.
These came from pro-Trump supporters such as Fox News hosts, congressional lawmakers, and Trump family members. Both representatives read some of the messages.
“Mark, the president needs to tell people in the Capitol to go home. This is hurting all of us. He is destroying his legacy,” Cheney quoted a text from Fox host Laura Ingraham.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump Jr, the former president’s oldest son, texted Meadows repeatedly, according to Cheney. “We need an Oval Office address,” Trump Jr. wrote in one message. “He’s got to condemn this s— ASAP,” he texted in a different message.
Mark Meadows Sued The Committee Instead of Appearing Before the Panel
Instead of appearing for his scheduled deposition last week, Meadows sued the committee. He also sued House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and asked the court to invalidate two of his subpoenas.
Meadows’ legal complaint leans on Trump’s instruction for him not to comply with the subpoena. This puts him in the “untenable position of choosing between conflicting privilege claims” put forward by Trump and current President Joe Biden.
Prior to Meadows, the House already voted to hold former White House senior advisor Steve Bannon in contempt. Bannon also ignored a subpoena issued by the select committee.
A federal grand jury subsequently charged Bannon with two counts of contempt of Congress. However, Bannon pleaded not guilty to the charges.
He faces a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a fine of up to $100,000 for each count if convicted.
Watch the NBC News video reporting that the House will take up criminal contempt charges against Mark Meadows:
What do you think about the House panel’s recommendation of contempt charges for Mark Meadows? Do you think his refusal to talk about the January 6 riots will lead him to jail?
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