House set to consider contempt resolution against Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows for Jan. 6 riot probe stonewall
Chris Kleponis | SIPA | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The leader of the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives on Thursday notified members to next week expect to consider a resolution recommending that former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows be held in contempt of Congress.
The Republican Meadows, a former House member, in a reversal on Tuesday said that he would no longer cooperate with a select bi-partisan House committee that is investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot by a mob of supporters of former President Donald Trump.
The panel then threatened to initiate contempt proceedings against him, which ultimately could result in the filing of criminal charges by the Justice Department.
Meadows responded on Wednesday by filing a lawsuit in Washington federal court seeking to invalidate two subpoenas that the committee had issued to him and his cell phone service provider, Verizon.
The complaint asks a judge to resolve what Meadows claims to be an “untenable position” he is in due to Trump’s order that he not comply with a congressionally issued subpoena for testimony and documents.
Trump argues that such a subpoena would violate a president’s executive privilege to keep advice and documents private.
President Joe Biden has waived executive privilege for White House documents sought by the Jan. 6 committee, which led Trump to file his own civil lawsuit seeking to block their transmittal to the panel.
In his notice to Democratic House members on Thursday, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland said that “pending action by the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol, the House is also expected to consider a Resolution Recommending that the House of Representatives Find Mark R. Meadows in Contempt of Congress for Refusal to Comply with a Subpoena Duly Issued by the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol.”
Last month, Meadows, who originally would not comply with the probe, agreed to cooperate in a limited way with the probe, offering to give what his lawyer called “voluntary responses” on topics that he does not believe are covered by executive privilege. He had already given some records to the panel, according to Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., the committee’s chairman.
Meadows is the third person to face contempt actions by the House for refusing to comply with the Capitol riot probe.
Last week, the select committee voted to advance contempt proceedings against Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department official.
The House voted in October to hold ex-Trump White House senior advisor Steve Bannon in contempt. Bannon was criminally charged in November with two counts of contempt of Congress. He is due to go on trial July 18 in that case.