December 9, 2021
The House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol plans to move forward with contempt proceedings against former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows for his decision not to cooperate with the panel’s requests, reports NBC News.
Representative Bennie Thompson ( D-Mississippi), the chairman of the committee, wrote in a letter to Meadows’ attorney, George Terwilliger III, on Tuesday night, December 7, that the committee “is 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.”
The committee was scheduled to hold a deposition with Meadows on Wednesday, December 8, but he was not expected to show up. Before serving in the Trump White House, Meadows served in the House from 2013 until March 2020.
Thompson said there is “no legitimate basis” for Meadows’ refusal to cooperate with the committee and answer questions about the documents he had already provided to lawmakers. The chairman said those include “a text message exchange with a member of Congress apparently about appointing alternate electors in certain states as part of a plan that the member acknowledged would be ‘highly controversial’ and to which Mr. Meadows apparently said, ‘I love it.’”
“They also feature a text exchange in January 2021 between Meadows and an organizer of the January 6 “Stop the Steal” rally on the White House Ellips; as well as text messages about the need for former President Donald Trump to issue a public statement that could have stopped the January 6 attack on the Capitol,” Thompson wrote.
Thompson said his committee has repeatedly tried to identify the areas of inquiry that Meadows believes are protected by executive privilege, but neither Terwilliger nor Meadows have “meaningfully provided that information.”Hi
He added that he had given Meadows opportunities to comply with the committee and questioned how the former White House chief of staff could produce documents–but then decide not to appear for a deposition to answer questions about them.
Thompson also questioned how Meadows released a new book in which he wrote about January 6, but is “denying a congressional committee the opportunity to ask him about the attack on our Capitol.” That “marks an historic and aggressive defiance of Congress,” Thompson wrote.
The letter came after Meadows said earlier Tuesday that he would no longer cooperate with the committee, which prompted the panel to threaten contempt proceedings.
Research contact: @NBCNews