Mark Meadows Targeted For Testimony & Documents By Jan 6 Probe

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The House committee investigating January 6 is hoping to take full advantage of a recent ruling by federal Judge Carl Nichols dismissing a lawsuit from former top Trump official Mark Meadows challenging demands from the committee for documents and testimony.

According to a newly filed push for urgent court intervention, the panel already reached out to Verizon in hopes of obtaining phone records and spoke with Meadows’s legal team about hearing from the former White House chief of staff, who was in that position at the time of the Capitol riot. Meadows initially provided the committee with thousands of text messages — including conversations with figures like Ginni Thomas and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) — before abruptly ending his cooperation amid privilege disputes. In dismissing Meadows’s lawsuit, Nichols didn’t rule on the privilege claims, although the committee focused in that area in their arguments. Instead, he found that a subpoena from the panel for information from Meadows was protected legislative activity within the bounds of the Speech or Debate Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has also cited in unsuccessfully trying to stop his testimony in a Georgia criminal investigation.

Meadows’s defense wants the opportunity for an appeal, among other possible courses of action. It’s unclear whether Verizon would comply with the renewed demands from the riot panel after Nichols dismissed Meadows’s lawsuit, although a lawyer for the ex-official said that Verizon informed him the panel sought “immediate compliance.” “He seeks reconsideration and a temporary stay at this early juncture because, in the immediate aftermath of the Court’s order, the Congressional Defendants have already begun efforts to enforce the subpoenas. If successful, those efforts would moot some or all of Mr. Meadows’s claims before he could exercise his right to seek reconsideration and, if necessary and appropriate, to pursue any appeal,” Meadows’s team said.

The phone records would not necessarily reveal the contents of phone calls but just who Meadows was contacting. In Arizona, state GOP chair Kelli Ward has also fought a riot panel push for her phone records. She even claimed medical privileges associated with work by her and her husband as doctors. Federal judges eventually concluded in favor of the clearly established investigative relevance of the sought materials — although that dispute is ongoing. The riot committee is working on a tight schedule, with its work expected to wrap up with this Congress, when at least two members — both of its Republicans — are leaving Congress altogether. In court, new arrests and sentencings of individual rioters are continuing. In one recent case, a rioter among the very first in the building was arrested. Joseph Howe, from Kentucky, was kicking a door in the Capitol’s Senate wing around the same time co-worker Michael Sparks climbed through a nearby broken window, initiating the building breach.