On Tuesday, the House voted to recommend Congress criminal contempt charges against Mark Meadows, the former White House chief of staff, after declaring that he would not cooperate with the 6th January House select Committee probing the Capitol riot. Whereas on Monday night, the panel voted 9-0 to endorse the contempt charges. Moreover, the House voted to hold Meadows in contempt would refer the matter to the Department of Justice, which would decide whether to prosecute Meadows.
According to House records, it was the first time the House voted to hold an ex-member in contempt since the 1830s. The House-select committee released several frantic texts the former Republican congressman received as the attack was in progress. Meadows documents that he shared with the committee revealed that Congress members, anchors of Fox News, and even former U.S. President Donald Trump’s son were urging him to convince the former president to act instantly to stop the barricade by his supporters.
🚨BREAKING. In a party line vote the House votes 222-208 to hold Mark Meadows in contempt of Congress. Now heads to DOJ. NOTE: The only 2 Republicans to vote with all Democrats were Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney.
We must hold the House and gain seats in the Senate. Period.
— voteblue2020 (@lflorepolitics) December 15, 2021
The committee said that Donald Trump Jr. texted former White House chief of staff that they need an Oval Office address, as the supporters of President Trump were attacking the Capitol, sending representatives running for their lives and disrupting the certification of the victory of Democratic President Joe Biden. Furthermore, committee members said that the content raised more concerns about what was happening at the White House – and what the former president himself was doing – as the insurgence was ongoing.
White House was aware of all that was Going on at the Capitol
The committee is scheduled to interrogate Meadows about the communications, including around two thousand text messages and sixty-six hundred pages of records brought from personal email accounts. However, the committee still has not released any of the communications to the full extent. Liz Cheney, the Republican representative from Wyoming, read from the texts at the Monday evening summit of the committee.
Further, she said they show supreme disregard and raise critical questions about whether the former president wanted to hinder the congressional certification by declining through his indecision to send a strong message to the insurgents to stop. Cheney said that these texts leave no doubt that the White House officials knew everything was happening at the Capitol.
Meadows Informed Committee He Would not Cooperate Anymore
Previously, the investigative panel interrogated over three hundred witnesses and subpoenaed over forty people. It seeks to build the most inclusive record to lead the insurgency and the violent blockade. In addition, the committee members pledged to penalize anybody who does not comply, and the Department of Justice (DOJ) already prosecuted Steve Bannon, the longtime Trump ally, on two charges of contempt after he resisted his subpoena. If convicted, Meadows and Bannon could confront one-year detention on each charge.
Last week, Mark Meadows informed @January6thCmte he would not cooperate further – abandoning his duty to country.
Tonight, the House voted him in contempt and referred him for criminal prosecution.
We acted with urgency.
The Justice Department must do the same.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) December 15, 2021
Bennie Thompson, committee Chairman, said of Meadows, no matter what legacy he thought he left in the House. His former fellows singled him out for offender prosecution because he would not answer questions about what he knew about a terror attack on the democracy. That is his legacy.
Mark Meadows Sued the House-select Panel
Meadows’ attorney George Terwilliger, said in a Monday letter to Thompson that the contempt vote would be unfair because the former chief of staff was one of the top aides of the former president, and all U.S. presidents should afford the executive privilege to protect their private chats. In addition, meadows sued the House select committee probing 6th January and Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker, asking a federal court to bar two subpoenas that he says are excessively oppressive and overly broad.
Moreover, Terwilliger issued the latest statement Tuesday, which said that Meadows had never stopped cooperating with the panel but instead always maintained that he couldn’t compel to testify before the committee for interrogation. Further, Meadows completely cooperated concerning documents in his custody and were not privileged.
The near-party-line 222-208 vote in the House is the second time the committee targeted to penalize a witness for resisting a subpoena. Similarly, the vote is the latest show of force in the House by the 6th January panel, leaving no angle unfamiliar – and no summons answered – as it probes the deadly attack on the Capitol in over two hundred years. Representatives on the committee are resolute to take answers instantly and reiterate the congressional officials that eroded while Trump was on the seat.
The two Republican votes – Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois and Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who serve on the House select committee – in favor of the resolution came after nine GOP lawmakers voted to hold Steve Bannon in contempt in October. While his case was straightforward as he never engaged with the panel at all – Meadows handed over documents and consulted with the panel for two months about an interview.
Meadows and Bannon Could Face One Year in Prison
Meadows was the top aide of former President Trump in the White House, which gives him more grounds to claim executive privilege. Since 2017, Bannon hadn’t worked in the White House. The DOJ will also be considering those elements as prosecutors decide whether to go ahead with the case. If convicted, Meadows and Bannon could face up to one year in prison on each charge.
On Tuesday, GOP leaders called the action against Meadows a distraction from work of House, with one member calling it un-American and evil. However, representative Jim Jordan of Ohio applauded Meadows and said that the Democratic vote in favor of the resolution is a vote to put a noble person in prison.