Unanimous Vote Backs Contempt Charges for Mark Meadows

Texts show Trump's son was among those urging president to condemn Jan. 6 violence
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 13, 2021 8:00 PM CST
Unanimous Vote Backs Contempt Charges for Mark Meadows
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows speaks with reporters outside the White House in October 2020.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

(Newser) – Voting unanimously, the House committee investigating the attack on the Capitol recommended Monday night that Mark Meadows face criminal contempt of Congress charges. The committee said in a new report that it has evidence that Meadows, who was chief of staff to former President Donald Trump at the time, promised the National Guard "would be present to 'protect pro Trump people'" on the day of the riot. Meadows made the comments in an email, the Washington Post reports. He has stopped cooperating with the panel after providing it thousands of documents, including emails, relevant to Jan. 6.

"Mr. Meadows started by doing the right thing—cooperating," said Chairman Bennie Thompson, a Democrat, who added that when he was called to testify about the documents, Meadows "changed his mind and told us to pound sand. He didn’t even show up." The bipartisan committee has not released all the files, per the AP, but its report says communications about Meadows' attempts to overturn Trump's election defeat are included. Five deaths resulted from the riot, and about 140 officers were injured.

Rep. Liz Cheney in Monday's hearing read a series of Jan. 6 texts to Meadows from people including Donald Trump Jr. and Fox News hosts imploring him to get the president to speak out against the violence. "He’s got to condemn this ... Asap," Trump's son texted. "He is destroying his legacy," Laura Ingraham wrote. Meadows once was a member of the House, and Thompson provided a blunt assessment before the 9-0 vote. "Whatever legacy he thought he left in the House, this is his legacy now," Thompson said, adding, "his former colleagues singling him out for criminal prosecution because he wouldn't answer questions about what he knows about a brutal attack on our democracy. That's his legacy." (Read more Capitol riot stories.)

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