Jan. 6 Committee Recommends Former Trump Chief Of Staff Meadows For Prosecution, Contempt Of Congress

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On Monday, the House Select Committee to investigate the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol made good on its threat to recommend former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows for prosecution for criminal contempt of Congress.

The seven Democrats and two ‘Never Trump’ Republicans on the committee voted unanimously 9-0 for the recommendation.

The next step in the process will be a vote in the Rules committee on Tuesday, and then a possible full House vote that could also happen on Tuesday.

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Reasons Behind Recommendation

It took Committee Chair Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) 51 pages in a report released on Sunday to explain: 

“Mr. Meadows was in contact with at least some of the private individuals who planned and organized a January 6 rally, one of whom reportedly may have expressed safety concerns to Mr. Meadows about January 6 events. Mr. Meadows used his personal cell phone to discuss the rally in the days leading up to January 6.” 

Meadows has recently been cooperating with the Jan. 6 committee, and said he would be willing to come before them and answer any questions that were not, he believed, covered by executive privilege.

Meadows since flip-flopped, ceased trying to work with the committee, and is now suing them.

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Meadows’ Ups And Downs With Jan. 6 Committee

Mark Meadows has done some measure of flip-flopping when it comes to talking to the Jan. 6 committee. Back in October, Meadows initially said that he would not comply with any subpoenas.   

Fast forward to December, and Meadows did an about-face and decided to cooperate with the committee. At the time of Meadows’ change of heart, Chairman Thompson said in regard to any possible contempt charges:

“The Select Committee expects all witnesses, including Mr. Meadows, to provide all information requested and that the Select Committee is lawfully entitled to receive. The committee will continue to assess his degree of compliance with our subpoena after the deposition.” 

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Just Out For Their Pound Of Flesh?

In response to the committee’s recommendation for prosecution for contempt of Congress by Meadows, his attorney George Terwilliger said, in a letter to the committee, that such an action could cause serious harm to the office of the president.

In the latest round, Meadows has sued not only the House Select Committee on Jan. 6, but also House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. CNN reported that Meadows is “asking a federal court to block enforcement of the subpoena the committee issued him as well as the subpoena it issued to Verizon for his phone records.” 

In addition to Meadows being recommended for prosecution and criminal contempt of Congress, former Trump Advisor Steve Bannon has been charged with one count of defying a subpoena and another charge related to turning over documents requested by the committee.

Liz Cheney responded to Meadows lawsuit by saying, “We look forward to litigating that.” Meadows summed up the intent of the committee, “[T]hey are doing a fishing expedition.”

 

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