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Former Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is suing the January 6 congressional committee in response to their imminent move to hold him in criminal contempt.
Meadows filed legal action against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and members of the committee on Tuesday in response to being subpoenaed, Fox News has confirmed, as they attempt to investigate the January 6 Capitol Hill protest that turned violent and has led to criminal charges against dozens of Trump supporters.
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)
“For months, Mr. Meadows has consistently sought in good faith to pursue an accommodation with the Select Committee whereby it could obtain relevant, non-privileged information,” the complaint states. “While the Committee and Mr. Meadows engaged over a period of time in an effort to achieve such reasonable accommodation, the Select Committee adamantly refused to recognize the immunity of present and former senior White House aides from being compelled to appear before Congress and likewise refused to recognize a former president’s claims of Executive Privilege and instructions to Mr. Meadows to maintain such privilege claims in addressing the Select Committee’s inquiries.”
The complaint continued, “The current President of the United States, through counsel, purported to waive the former president’s claims of privilege and immunity. As a result, Mr. Meadows, a witness, has been put in the untenable position of choosing between conflicting privilege claims that are of constitutional origin and dimension and having to either risk enforcement of the subpoena issued to him, not merely by the House of Representatives, but through actions by the Executive and Judicial Branches, or, alternatively, unilaterally abandoning the former president’s claims of privileges and immunities. Thus, Mr. Meadows turns to the courts to say what the law is.”
The House Jan. 6th Select Committee warned Mark Meadows Tuesday that it will cite him for contempt if he does not appear, after the former White House chief of staff indicated he would refuse to testify.
Meadows told the committee on Tuesday that he would no longer cooperate with their inquiry into the unrest at the Capitol earlier this year.
“Mark Meadows has informed the Select Committee that he does not intend to cooperate further with our investigation despite his apparent willingness to provide details about the facts and circumstances surrounding the January 6th attack, including conversations with President Trump, in the book he is now promoting and selling,” Committee Chairman Rep Bennie G. Thompson said in a statement.
U.S. Representatives Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and Liz Cheney (R-WY), co-chairs of the January 6th Select Committee, testify before the House Committee on Rules at the United States Capitol in Washington, U.S., December 2, 2021. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein
According to Thompson and Rep. Liz Cheney, the committee “has numerous questions” for Meadows about “records he has turned over to the Committee with no claim of privilege” and “official records stored in his personal phone and email accounts.”
Meadows’ lawsuit comes the day after Republican political consultant and former Nixon and Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone said through his lawyer that he is invoking his Fifth Amendment rights and declining to testify before the House January 6 commission.
Reuters reported earlier this year that the Federal Bureau of Investigation found that there was “scant evidence” of an organized plot to raid the Capitol.
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows speaks with reporters at the White House, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
“Ninety to ninety-five percent of these are one-off cases,” a former senior law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation told Reuters. “Then you have five percent, maybe, of these militia groups that were more closely organized. But there was no grand scheme with Roger Stone and Alex Jones and all of these people to storm the Capitol and take hostages.”
Fox News’ Kyle Morris contributed to this report
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