The House committee investigating the Capitol riot is unfazed by the obstructionist antics that have been undertaken by former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows. This week, Meadows abruptly announced that he would not be further complying with a subpoena from the panel and sitting for a deposition after all, and he’s also filed a lawsuit, hoping to stop the subpoena against him and one targeting his phone records at Verizon. Rather than the content of his communications, that subpoena is apparently geared towards information like who he called and the length of time that they spoke. Now, the riot investigation committee has released a statement clobbering his lawsuit — and pledging to meet next week to hold Meadows in contempt of Congress.
‘Meadows’s flawed lawsuit won’t succeed at slowing down the Select Committee’s investigation or stopping us from getting info we’re seeking. The Committee will meet next week to advance a report recommending that the House cite Meadows for contempt and refer him for prosecution.’
Meadows’s flawed lawsuit won’t succeed at slowing down the Select Committee’s investigation or stopping us from getting info we’re seeking.
The Committee will meet next week to advance a report recommending that the House cite Meadows for contempt and refer him for prosecution.
— January 6th Committee (@January6thCmte) December 9, 2021
After the riot committee officially approves its contempt of Congress finding against Meadows, the matter would need to move to the full House, and once approved by the chamber, it’s referred to the Justice Department, which possesses the responsibility of making the final decision on whether or not to prosecute. The department opted for prosecution after a dual contempt finding and criminal referral targeting top Trump ally Steve Bannon were approved by the House over his refusal to comply with a subpoena from the riot committee. Now, Bannon is apparently facing up to two years in prison (if convicted), including one on each contempt count that he faces.
Trump shouldn’t be allowed to use executive privilege claims to excuse him from accountability for inciting the insurrection. We’ve taken it up with the court.https://t.co/yXceXnRA1P
— Citizens for Ethics (@CREWcrew) December 9, 2021
Meadows’s lawsuit against members of the riot investigation committee points to claims of executive privilege from former President Trump, although many observers understand the actual, current executive — meaning President Joe Biden — to have the final word on executive privilege claims. The concept of executive privilege, as explained by legal expert and George Mason University Professor Mark Rozell, is meant to keep information from release if it’s “vital to the national interest to protect,” in addition to covering “the privacy of some internal White House deliberations.” Executive privilege claims have also been raised in Bannon’s defense, although he didn’t even work for the White House during the time period under scrutiny.