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House Jan. 6 panel tells Mark Meadows to appear Friday for deposition


The House committee investigating the January 6th insurrection in the Capitol told former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows that he must appear for his deposition at 10 a.m. on Friday or he will be considered in contempt of Congress.

Panel chairman, Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson, wrote to Meadows’ attorney on Thursday night to say there is ‘no valid legal basis’ for Meadow’s noncompliance with panel’s subpoena. 

‘Simply put, there is no valid legal basis for Mr. Meadows’s continued resistance to the Select Committee’s subpoena. As such, the Select Committee expects Mr. Meadows to produce all responsive documents and appear for deposition testimony tomorrow, November 12, 2021, at 10:00 a.m,’ Thompson wrote to Meadows’ lawyer George Terwilliger. 

His threat comes shortly after the White House counsel’s office told Meadows he had no claims of priviledge to avoiding appearing before the committee. 

Thompson warned that Meadows could face criminal charges if he doesn’t appear.

‘The Select Committee will view Mr. Meadows’s failure to appear at the deposition, and to produce responsive documents … as willful non-compliance. Such willful noncompliance with the subpoena would force the Select Committee to consider invoking the contempt of Congress procedures,’ Thompson noted, ‘which could result in a referral from the House of Representatives to the Department of Justice for criminal charges.’

The House committee investigating the January 6th insurrection in the Capitol told former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows that he must appear for his deposition at 10 am on Friday or he will be considered in contempt of Congress.

The panel had said it was subpoening Meadows because he was within the 'vicinity' of Donald Trump on Jan. 6, and had communications with Trump and others 'regarding the events at the Capitol' and 'are a witness concerning events that day'

The panel had said it was subpoening Meadows because he was within the ‘vicinity’ of Donald Trump on Jan. 6, and had communications with Trump and others ‘regarding the events at the Capitol’ and ‘are a witness concerning events that day’ 

The White House on Thursday notified Meadows’ lawyer that President Joe Biden would waive any executive privilege that would prevent Meadows from cooperating with the committee’s investigation. 

White House deputy counsel Jonathan Su wrote to George Terwilliger to tell him of the finding.

‘The President believes that the constitutional protections of executive privilege should not be used to shield information reflecting an effort to subvert the Constitution itself, and indeed believes that such an assertion in this circumstance would be at odds with the principles that underlie the privilege,’ Su wrote. 

Biden ‘has determined that he will not assert executive privilege with respect to your client’s deposition testimony on these subjects, or any documents your client may possess that bear on them,’ Su noted. ‘For the same reasons, underlying his decisions on executive privilege, President Biden has determined that he will not assert immunity to preclude your client from testifying before the Select Committee.’ 

Thompson noted that finding in his letter to Terwilliger, writing the ruling from Biden’s White House counsel on the matter ‘eviscerates any plausible claim of testimonial immunity or executive privilege, and compels compliance with the Select Committee’s subpoena.’

But Terwilliger suggested in a statement earlier Thursday – after receiving Su’s letter but before Thompson’s letter – that Meadows would not comply with the committee’s demands until the legal disputes were resolved.

‘Contrary to decades of consistent bipartisan opinions from the Justice Department that senior aides cannot be compelled by Congress to give testimony, this is the first president to make not effort whatsoever to protect presidential communications from being the subject of compelled testimony,’ he wrote.

‘Mr. Meadows remains under the instruction of former President Trump to respect longstanding principles of executive privilege. It now appears the courts will have to resolve this conflict,’ he noted.

Trump has ordered his former aides not to cooperate with the House committee’s probe. 

The committee has subpoenaed Meadows and more than two dozen other people as part of its investigation. 

The House Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6th Attack on the Capitol ssued its first subpoenas on September 21 – targeting Meadows, former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, longtime Trump and White House aide Dan Scavino, and former Pentagon chief of staff Kash Patel.

Meadows featured prominently in Trump’s efforts to pressure state official in Georgia and other states where Trump pushed claims of election fraud as part of his election overturn effort.

‘While serving as White House Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows reportedly communicated with officials at the state level and in the Department of Justice as part of an effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election or prevent the election’s certification,’ according to the committee release on the subpoena. 

The Meadows letter says it appears he was within the ‘vicinity’ of Trump on Jan. 6, and had communications with Trump and others ‘regarding the events at the Capitol’ and ‘are a witness concerning events that day.’ 

Mark Meadows, a former congressman, served as Trump's chief of staff in the final days of the administration

Mark Meadows, a former congressman, served as Trump’s chief of staff in the final days of the administration

Former Trupm aide Steve Bannon (pictured) defied his subpoena and was held in contempt of Congress - the Justice Department is deciding whether to pursue charges

Former Trupm aide Steve Bannon (pictured) defied his subpoena and was held in contempt of Congress – the Justice Department is deciding whether to pursue charges

It also cites documents already obtained from the Justice Department, and states that ‘while you were the President’s Chief of Staff, you directly communicated with the highest officials at the Department of Justice requesting investigations into election fraud matters in several states.’ 

Bannon also refused to comply with his subpeona and was held in contempt of Congress. 

The House voted 229 to 202, mostly along party lines, on October 27 to find Bannon in contempt, which sent the matter to the Justice Department. DoJ will decide whether or not to prosecute Bannon. 

Thompson has also threatened contempt against Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department official who helped orchestrate Trump’s effort to subvert the 2020 election results. 

Thompson’s letter to Meadows on Thursday comes hours after a blow to the committee’s investigation of what happened the day thousands of Trump supporters swarmed the Capitol to try and stop the certification of Joe Biden’s presidential victory. 

A federal appeals court blocked the imminent release of Trump’s records – including his White House calls and activities related to the Jan. 6 attack – after a lower court found that Biden can waive his predecessor’s claim to executive privilege.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit granted a temporary injunction while it considers Trump’s request to hold off any release pending appeal.

The case was fast-tracked for a hearing Nov. 30.



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