US House Capitol riot committee may hold former Trump chief of staff in contempt
© WikiMedia (Gage Skidmore)
US House Capitol riot committee may hold former Trump chief of staff in contempt

The Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol has indicated they will consider holding former White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, in contempt for failing to appear for a scheduled deposition on Wednesday.

Meadows, who served under former President Donald Trump and was privy to information concerning communications regarding the interruption of the presidential election process and stated Tuesday that he would no longer cooperate with the committee.

Congressman Bennie Thompson for Mississippi, Chairman for the committee, responded to Meadows’ decision not to attend the deposition through a letter addressed to his lawyer. Thompson indicated the committee was “left with no choice but to advance contempt proceedings and recommend that the body in which Mr. Meadows once served refer him for criminal prosecution” if Meadows failed to show.

After the committee subpoenaed Meadows in September, his team cooperated with the investigation. The communications include discussions of appointing “alternate slates of electors as part of a ‘direct and collateral attack’ after the election,” a “38-page PowerPoint briefing titled ‘Election Fraud, Foreign Interference & Options for 6 JAN,’” and “having the National Guard on standby.” Meadows also produced text messages that appear to show Meadows attempted to convince a Member of Congress to enact the aforementioned plans.

While Meadows has decided not to face the committee, he has published a book that discusses his actions during the January attack. Thompson’s letter states that “[Meadows selling] his telling of the facts of that day while denying a congressional committee the opportunity to ask him about the attack on our Capitol marks a historic and aggressive defiance of Congress.”

The hearing would have given Meadows a chance to explain the messages, as well as indicate any solicitor-client or executive privileges over the documents. George Terwilliger, Meadows’ attorney, previously told CBS that he and his client were working with the committee to “reach an accommodation that does not require Mr. Meadows to . . . forfeit the long-standing position that senior White House aides cannot be compelled to testify before Congress.”

The committee has issued subpoenas to 45 individuals and groups that it believes have knowledge of the events surrounding the attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.