Jan. 6 Panel Recommends Contempt Charge for Meadows

Trump's former chief of staff sues committee
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2021 10:00 AM CST
Updated Dec 8, 2021 4:44 PM CST
Mark Meadows Ends Cooperation With House Panel
A file photo for then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows in October 2020.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

(Newser) Update: The committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack says it is pursuing criminal contempt of Congress charges against Donald Trump's former chief of staff. Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson said Wednesday that the panel had "no choice" but to advance charges after Mark Meadows failed to appear for a scheduled deposition, the New York Times reports. The move comes a day after Meadows' lawyer said his client would stop cooperating with the committee. CNN reports that Meadows filed lawsuits against the panel and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Wednesday, seeking to block subpoenas issued to himself and to Verizon for his phone records. Our story from Dec. 7 follows:

Mark Meadows may be making more headlines now than when he served as former President Trump's chief of staff. Meadows' attorney said Tuesday that his client will no longer cooperate with the House panel investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, reports CNN. Meadows struck a deal last month to work with the panel, seemingly avoiding the defiant path taken by Steve Bannon that led to Bannon's contempt charges. But on Tuesday, attorney George Terwilliger told Fox News the deal was off, per Axios. Terwilliger accused the panel of pushing for answers to questions that Meadows feels should be off-limits under the principle of executive privilege.

"In short, we now have every indication from the information supplied to us last Friday—upon which Mr. Meadows could expect to be questioned—that the Select Committee has no intention of respecting boundaries concerning Executive Privilege," Terwilliger said in a separate statement, per CNN. All this comes as Meadows is plugging a new book, one in which he asserts that Trump's COVID case was more serious than believed and that Trump continued to make public appearances as president after testing positive. The Daily Beast reports that while Meadows intended to write a flattering book, Trump has been seething about its details in private, calling it "stupid" (and adding an expletive before that word).

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