Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has been recommended for criminal contempt charges by the House Jan. 6 committee.
The seven Democrats and two Republicans on the House Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol voted Monday for Meadows to face prosecution for his refusal to comply with a subpoena to testify and deliver documents to the congressional panel.
“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,” the committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., wrote in a report that was issued Sunday. “Mr. Meadows used his personal cell phone to discuss the rally in the days leading up to January 6.”
Meadows’ attorney, George Terwilliger, fired back in a letter on Monday, contending that the move “would be contrary to law, manifestly unjust, unwise, and unfair.”
“The contemplated referral would be contrary to law because a good-faith invocation of executive privilege and testimonial immunity by a former senior executive official is not a” crime, Terwilliger, wrote.
“A referral to the Department of Justice based on such an invocation would ignore the statute’s legislative history and historical application, contravene well-established separation of powers principles, and improperly impute a criminal intent to a good-faith actor,” he added.
Thompson and Ranking Member Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., dismissed Meadows’ previous claims of privilege and have held that the committee has the oversight and investigation authority to pursue Meadows for information.
A vote in the Rules Committee will be held on Tuesday morning followed by a potential full House vote as well.
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