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The House Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol voted 9-0 on Monday to recommend former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows for prosecution for criminal contempt of Congress after he refused to testify before the panel.
The seven Democrats and two Republicans on the panel voted 9-0 in favor.
The House will take the next step in the process of holding Meadows in contempt of Congress with a vote in the Rules Committee on Tuesday morning. A vote by the full House on the measure could come the same day.
“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,” Jan. 6 Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., wrote in a 51-page report released late Sunday. “Mr. Meadows used his personal cell phone to discuss the rally in the days leading up to January 6.”
Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., arrive for the first House select committee hearing on the Jan. 6 attack on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 27, 2021. (AP Photo/ Andrew Harnik, Pool) (AP Photo/ Andrew Harnik, Pool)
Meadows, a former North Carolina congressman who served as the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, was previously cooperating with the committee’s investigation into the events surrounding the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. He later stopped working with the investigators and is now suing them.
A Monday letter from Meadows’ attorney, George Terwilliger, argued that referring Meadows for contempt would harm the institution of the presidency by treading on the separation of powers, potentially making future presidential advisers reluctant to offer the president their full and honest advice on key decisions.
In this Jan. 6, 2021 file photo, violent protesters storm the Capitol in Washington, D.C. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
The Jan. 6 Committee, however, is aggressively asserting what it claims are its constitutional powers of oversight and investigation. Thompson and Ranking Member Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., said last week that Meadows’ claims of privilege do not extend to much of what he would discuss with the committee.
Last week, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) confirmed they are in talks with counsel for Meadows regarding records he did not properly transfer to his official government account from his personal phone and email.
Meadows is the latest Trump adviser to face the legal ire of Jan. 6 committee. In November, a federal grand jury charged former senior Trump adviser Steve Bannon with two counts of contempt of Congress.
Steve Bannon, left, former advisor to President Donald Trump, and his attorney David Schoen, address the media after an appearance at the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse on contempt of Congress charges for failing to comply with a subpoena from the Committee investigating the January 6th riot, on Monday, November 15, 2021. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images) (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
Bannon was charged after failing to appear for a deposition in front of the Jan. 6 committee, as well as for not handing over requested documents in the face of the committee’s subpoena, according to the Justice Department.
Fox News’ Tyler Olson contributed to this report.