House Jan. 6 panel has 'no choice' but contempt charge against former Trump aide Meadows

Donald Trump's former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, could become the third person to face a criminal contempt https://www.reuters.com/world/us/whats-stake-trump-allies-facing-contempt-congress-2021-10-14 charge for refusing to cooperate with the U.S. House of Representatives panel probing the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, the committee warned on Wednesday.


Reuters | Updated: 09-12-2021 04:06 IST | Created: 09-12-2021 04:06 IST
House Jan. 6 panel has 'no choice' but contempt charge against former Trump aide Meadows

Donald Trump's former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, could become the third person to face a criminal contempt https://www.reuters.com/world/us/whats-stake-trump-allies-facing-contempt-congress-2021-10-14 charge for refusing to cooperate with the U.S. House of Representatives panel probing the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, the committee warned on Wednesday. Representative Bennie Thompson, chairman of the House of Representatives Select Committee, said in a letter to Meadows' attorney, George Terwilliger, that Meadows - a former House member - had failed to cooperate https://www.reuters.com/legal/litigation/trump-ex-chief-staff-meadows-no-longer-cooperating-with-capitol-riot-panel-2021-12-07 with the panel.

"The Select Committee is left with no choice but to advance contempt proceedings and recommend that the body in which Mr. Meadows once served refer him for criminal prosecution," Thompson wrote in the letter, which was released by the committee. Terwilliger did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Meadows refused to appear for a deposition scheduled on Wednesday, instead filing a lawsuit against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the nine members of the Select Committee alleging a civil rights violation, according to records in federal court in Washington. Full details were not immediately available. A committee spokesman had no comment.

The panel had said on Tuesday that Meadows had decided not to cooperate and that it was prepared to pursue contempt of Congress charges against him for failing to comply with its requests for information. The Justice Department, at the House's request, has already brought similar charges https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-justice-department-indicts-bannon-not-complying-with-jan-6-subpoena-2021-11-12 against Trump's former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, and the House is considering similar action against former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark.

Longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone told the committee that he would not testify, citing his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, his lawyer said. 'I LOVE IT'

Meadows told the committee last week that he would hand over some documents and appear for a deposition. He changed his mind by https://www.reuters.com/legal/litigation/trump-ex-chief-staff-meadows-no-longer-cooperating-with-capitol-riot-panel-2021-12-07 Tuesday, saying he would not appear on Wednesday. Thompson said documents were handed over but that Terwilliger also claimed that hundreds of emails and text messages are subject to privilege.

On Jan. 6, Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in a bid to prevent formal congressional certification of his 2020 election loss to Democratic President Joe Biden. Before the riot, Trump repeated his false claims that the election was stolen from him through widespread voting fraud. Thompson said documents the committee has received from Meadows' attorney include communications with organizers of that rally and communications with a member of Congress, who was not identified, about the possibility of replacing some state electors with hand-picked candidates to keep Trump in power despite the result of the presidential election.

In response, Meadows apparently said, "I love it," according to Thompson's letter. While more than 250 witnesses have testified to the committee, Trump has urged associates not to cooperate, calling the Democratic-led investigation politically motivated and arguing that his communications are protected by executive privilege. Many legal experts, however, have said that legal principle does not apply to former presidents.

Thompson has noted that even as the committee and Trump’s attorneys battle in court over executive privilege issues, Meadows revealed details about circumstances surrounding the Jan. 6 attack, including conversations with Trump, in a new book Meadows is currently promoting.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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