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The House of Representatives select committee investigating the January 6 Capitol Hill riot says it will meet on Monday night to pursue criminal contempt charges against former Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
“The Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol will hold a business meeting to consider a report recommending that the House of Representatives cite Mark Randall Meadows for criminal contempt of Congress and refer him to the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia for prosecution under 2 U.S.C. §§ 192, 194,” the statement from the committee read on Thursday.
FILE PHOTO: White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows speaks to reporters following a television interview, outside the White House in Washington, Oct. 21, 2020. REUTERS/Al Drago/File Picture/File Photo (REUTERS/Al Drago/File Picture/File Photo)
The statement comes the day after Meadows filed a lawsuit in response to the committee subpoenaing him for records related to the Capitol Hill unrest. Meadows’ lawsuit, filed in federal court in Washington, asks a judge to invalidate two subpoenas that he says are “overly broad and unduly burdensome.” It accuses the committee of overreaching by issuing a subpoena to Verizon for his cell phone records.
“Allowing an entirely partisan select committee of Congress to subpoena the personal cell phone data of executive officials would work a massive chilling of current and future Executive Branch officials’ associational and free speech rights,” the lawsuit states.
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)
In a statement, the Committee’s Democratic chairman, Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson, and the Republican ranking member, Wyoming Rep. Elizabeth Cheney, said Meadows’ lawsuit won’t affect their plans to cite him for contempt.
“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,” Thompson and Cheney said. “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.”
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows listens to questioning of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020. (Leah Millis/Pool via AP)
Meadows told The Ingraham Angle” host Laura Ingraham on Wednesday night, “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.”
On Thursday, former Trump Pentagon official Kash Patel met with the committee and released a statement regarding his decision to do so.
“I have always been willing and able to share with the Committee, and the American people, the truth about the events of January 6—including the Department of Defense’s preparation for and response to unrest at the Capitol,” the statement read. “Without prior outreach from the Committee, I learned about my subpoena through the media, and subsequently received violent threatening messages which were reported to the FBI.”
Patel added, “Though I have had major concerns about the fairness of the proceedings, I appeared to answer questions to the best of my ability. The DOD Inspector General, under the Biden Administration, found no wrongdoing in its report on Jan. 6, as I shared with the Committee. I believe all Americans deserve the right to freedom and liberty, and I will continue to advocate for these things through Fight With Kash so that no American needs to suffer the attacks that I have.”