Capitol Riot Commission to File Contempt Charge for Mark Meadows, Says Chairman Bennie Thompson

The House committee investigating Jan. 6 will continue to recommend contempt for former Donald Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows, Speaker Bennie Thompson revealed in a new letter.

The commission threatened to do so on Tuesday if he did not show up this morning.

“The select committee has no choice but to continue the contempt procedure and the instance in which Mr. Meadows once recommended that he be referred for criminal charges,” Thompson wrote on Tuesday.

But among the material he did flip is a 38-page PowerPoint presentation titled “Election Fraud, Foreign Interference & Options for 6 JAN” that was supposed to be given “up the hill.”

Thompson’s letter reveals that Meadows exchanged emails about the lengthy presentation until the day before the attack on the Capitol.

The letter to Meadows’ attorney also revealed more details about communications the former North Carolina congressman had sent to the committee.

One of the most damning appears to be a text exchange between Meadows and an unnamed federal lawmaker that took place after the November 2020 election.

The letter refers to a text exchange on Nov. 6, 2020 with a member of Congress, apparently about appointing alternate voters in certain states as part of a plan the member acknowledged would be “highly controversial” and on which Mr. Meadows apparently said “I love it”…’

Thompson’s letter means the House could hold a vote as early as Friday to refer Meadows to the Justice Department for criminal charges.

Thompson sent Meadows' attorney a lengthy letter informing him that the House will vote on a criminal referral for the ex-Trump official

Thompson sent Meadows’ attorney a lengthy letter informing him that the House will vote on a criminal referral for the ex-Trump official

Meadows is also accused of texting someone about the need for Trump to “issue a public statement that could have stopped the January 6 attack on the Capitol.”

The lawmaker-turned-White House official also allegedly spoke via text message to an unnamed organizer of the Jan. 6 Stop the Steal rally in “early January.”

On Nov. 7, 2020, the letter claims, Meadows sent an email discussing certain states appointing an alternate roster of voters, likely those who voted for Biden, in a “direct and collateral attack.”

The day before the riots, Meadows is said to have sent an email about the National Guard’s standing by.

“All those documents raise issues that the Select Committee’s Mr. Meadows would like to interrogate and what you seem to agree on are not subject to any claim of privilege,” Thompson wrote.

Despite the newly revealed information, Thompson stated that there were still more than a thousand items that Meadows withheld due to claims of executive privilege.

Meadows is the third person to be voted with contempt in the House in the Democrat-led commission’s investigation, after ex-Trump adviser Steve Bannon and former DOJ official Jeffrey Clark.

Hours earlier on Tuesday, Meadows had announced that he would cease to comply with the commission after he and the commission could not agree on the terms of his testimony, according to his attorney.

Commission President Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Mo., and Vice President Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., chides the former Trump official for ending his partnership with them, as they say he reveals details about the day in his new book, “The Chief’s Chief.”

6 Jan.  Vice chairman of the committee, Rep.  Liz Cheney, R-Wyo.

January 6 Commission President Rep.  Bennie Thompson, D-Mo.

Commission President Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Mo., and Vice President Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., chides the former Trump official for ending his partnership with them, as they say he reveals details about the day in his new book, “The Chief’s Chief.”

Mark Meadows has informed the Select Committee that he does not intend to cooperate further with our investigation, despite his willingness to provide details of the facts and circumstances surrounding the January 6 attack, including talks with President Trump, in the book that he is now promoting and selling,” they wrote in a statement.

They also said they had questions about official communications that Meadows had taken from his personal accounts.

“We also need to hear from him about voluminous official documents stored in his personal phone and email accounts, which had to be turned over to the National Archives in accordance with the Presidential Records Act.”

Meadows’ attorney, his client, would no longer appear for a statement in a letter to the commission released Tuesday. However, the letter stated that Meadows would still be willing to submit written responses to questions.

“We’ve spent many weeks trying to reach an agreement with the committee,” Meadows’ attorney George Terwilliger told Fox, who first reported the news.

Just a week ago, the commission said Meadows had provided them with data and agreed to make a statement “soon.” Before that, Meadows, along with former Trump strategist Steve Bannon, had refused to cooperate in raising the prospect of criminal contempt proceedings.

Bannon was charged with contempt of Congress after a House referral after failing to appear for the trial. When asked what his client would do if he had the same treatment, Terwilliger said he and Meadows “will cross that bridge when he gets to it.”

He stressed that the former senior Trump official “has made every effort to try to accommodate and work with this committee,” while still maintaining a position on the privilege “which he must uphold.”

Volunteer said the commission hadn’t tried to meet him halfway. He said the commission continued plans to investigate privileged subjects, pointing out that it had already subpoenaed Meadows’ phone records, though he planned to voluntarily hand them over after they were screened for privileged material.

The Jan. 6 commission said Meadows had yet to appear to testify about unprivileged communications.

“Even as we litigate privilege issues, the Select Committee has numerous questions for Mr. Meadows on documents he turned over to the Committee without claim to privilege, including real-time communications with many individuals as the events of Jan. 6 unfolded,” Thompson and Cheney wrote in the statement.

The attorney also pointed to a recent comment by Thompson, who told MSNBC last week that when a defendant advocates the Fifth Amendment, “in some cases, it is said that you are fully guilty of what happened.”

“We’ve been making efforts for many weeks to reach an agreement with the commission,” Meadows’ attorney said

Trump has urged his acolytes not to comply with the commission's subpoenas

Trump has urged his acolytes not to comply with the commission’s subpoenas

“The committee chair … said publicly that the allegation of another Fifth Amendment witness would amount to an admission of guilt,” Terwilliger said, adding that this questioned “what exactly is going on.” with this committee.’

Terwilliger said the commission had shown a “wholesale waiver of any notion of executive privilege,” or the president’s right to maintain certain private communications with his senior staff.

“It is undisputed that Congress’s subpoena power is limited to the pursuit of a legitimate legislative purpose. Congress has no authority to conduct law enforcement investigations or detached “fact-finding missions.” Even if there is a legislative purpose, requests involving separation of powers by targeting current or former executive officers must be closely aligned,” Terwilliger wrote in the letter.

Meadows’ “appreciation for our constitutional system and for the separation of powers dictates that he cannot appear voluntarily under these circumstances,” the letter continued.

In addition to the two charges of contempt they have leveled against Bannon, the commission has also cleared the charges of contempt for former Justice Department attorney Jeffrey Clark. He reportedly tried to pressure his seniors to ask state governments to examine the 2020 results.

Prosecutors have not moved to charge Clark after he missed his hearing because he agreed to make a new appointment.

As a former chief of staff, Meadows is seen as an important witness to understanding Trump’s steps leading up to January 6 and the events of that day.

Since Watergate, no one has been convicted of contempt for Congress, and courts generally shy away from hearing cases that are “political issues.”

As a former chief of staff, Meadows is seen as a key witness to understanding Trump's steps leading up to January 6 and the events of the day

As a former chief of staff, Meadows is seen as a key witness to understanding Trump’s steps leading up to January 6 and the events of the day

Meadows has made headlines in recent weeks for revealing new details about Trump’s Covid diagnosis in his new book, “The Chief’s Chief.”

Meadows wrote that just three days before appearing on the debate stage with Joe Biden, Trump tested positive and then negative for the virus.

Trump quickly denied the claim.

“The story I have COVID before or during the first debate is fake news,” he said.

Meadows reportedly wrote that the positive result came from an “old model test kit” and that another COVID test was negative — the White House never released the first result and the debate continued.

“Well, the president is right, it’s fake news,” Meadows said in an interview with Newsmax on Wednesday.

“If you actually read the book, its context, that story painted a false positive.”

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