Adam Schiff Promotes Criminal Prosecution Of Mark Meadows


Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), a member of the House committee investigating the Capitol riot, is not impressed with the decision at the Justice Department not to prosecute former Trump aide Mark Meadows after the House referred him for prosecution on contempt of Congress allegations.

Those contempt allegations related to Meadows’s refusal to comply to a sufficient extent with the riot panel. Referrals from the House don’t necessarily force the Justice Department to bring charges, it seems (although legal interpretations may vary) — but obviously, such initiatives come with a significant amount of supporting evidence behind them. On CBS, Schiff remarked as follows, referring to Meadows and ex-Trump aide Dan Scavino, who the Justice Department also declined to prosecute for contempt tied to the House riot investigation:

‘It is very puzzling why these two witnesses would be treated differently than the two that the Justice Department is prosecuting. There is no absolute immunity. These witnesses have very relevant testimony to offer in terms of what went into the violence of January 6th, the propagation of the big lie. And the idea that witnesses could simply fail to show up — and when the statute requires the Justice Department to present those cases to the grand jury, and they don’t — is deeply troubling. We hope to get more insight from the Justice Department, but it’s a, I think, a grave disappointment and could impede our work if other witnesses think they can likewise refuse to show up with impunity.’

Check out Schiff’s remarks below:

Two Trump allies referred for prosecution on contempt allegations tied to their interactions with the riot committee who are, in fact, facing prosecution include Steve Bannon and Peter Navarro, the latter of whom was just recently charged. Bannon, meanwhile, is set to stand trial on the contempt allegations in July. CBS host Margaret Brennan asked Schiff about the executive privilege argument that’s repeatedly come up in association with defenses from Trump allies for stonewalling, to which Schiff said: “[Executive privilege] shouldn’t be the explanation here because, of course, there are a great many things these witnesses can testify with no even plausible claim of executive privilege… And the idea that you can simply refuse to show up, rather than show up and say, as to this question I’m going to assert a privilege, that just invites others to be in contempt of Congress or be in contempt of judges around the country in other courtrooms.”

The riot committee will soon begin a new round of public hearings at which items including video footage of past testimony from Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner may be presented. Ivanka and Jared, the former president’s daughter and son-in-law, testified to the House riot panel for hours at a time each, suggesting that they were at least relatively forthcoming with committee members. Ivanka’s meeting with the panel apparently went on for around eight hours, while Jared’s apparently extended for some six hours. Per NBC, a source in the (virtual) room for Kushner’s testimony described him “as being cooperative and friendly, adding that Kushner did the talking, as opposed to having his lawyers speak for him.”