Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows dismissed concerns that he could be charged with contempt for ignoring a subpoena issued by the House Select Committee on Jan. 6.
The former Trump official and GOP lawmaker from North Carolina responded to a statement from the two leaders of the panel investigating the Capitol riot that they will continue pursuing contempt of Congress charges against him, despite a civil lawsuit he has filed against the committee and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
The panel’s chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), and co-chair, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming), indicated in a statement, however, that the lawsuit is not going to deter the committee.
“Mr. Meadows’s flawed lawsuit won’t succeed at slowing down the Select Committee’s investigation or stopping us from getting the information we’re seeking,” the pair noted. “The Select Committee will meet next week to advance a report recommending that the House cite Mr. Meadows for contempt of Congress and refer him to the Department of Justice for prosecution.”
On her Wednesday evening Fox News program, host Laura Ingraham said that Meadows’ lawsuit is calling on courts to block “two overly broad unduly burdensome subpoenas from the committee issued in whole or in part without legal authority and in violation of the Constitution.”
In an interview with Ingraham, Meadows argued that one of the subpoenas issued to his telecom provider is so broad that he cannot see any legislative need for it.
“I can tell you they did this without notifying us. We came to the conclusion that they’re still going to try to question those personal private conversations that I had with the President of the United States and other senior officials in the West Wing. And quite frankly, their scope is, of course, going to have to do. So we’re going to challenge it,” said Meadows.
“I can tell you, because certain non-privileged communications, I think what they will find is that no one in the White House had any advance knowledge of anything that was going to happen on that [January 6] in terms of a breach of security,” he noted further.
“I can also tell you that… President Trump not only authorized but encouraged the authorization of 10,000 National Guard leading up to that. That’s not something that you do if you’re anticipating, you know, some kind of nefarious motive,” he said.
“[T]hey are doing a fishing expedition,” Meadows said of the committee. “It’s broadly believed that they’ve issued more subpoenas in the last two months than they have in the last decade.”
A clearly frustrated Ingraham responded with incredulity, noting that some of the same lawmakers pushed the disproven narrative for years that then-President Trump colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election. She also declared that the Jan. 6 panel is merely looking for any “tidbit” of information they can then leak to The New York Times for a story that will make Meadows and Trump look bad.
“That’s what they want. I used to be in the litigation business, I know what they’re doing,” Ingraham, who is an attorney, argued.
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