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Mark Meadows sues Pelosi and Jan 6 committee members after they say they will hold him in contempt


Former Trump White House chief of Staff Mark Meadows is suing members of the House Jan. 6 committee and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, after it emerged on Wednesday he was no longer cooperating with the investigation.

Hours earlier, the committee signaled it would pursue a criminal contempt case against him. 

In his suit, Meadows accuses the investigators of trying to ‘violate’ the principle of executive privilege that should protect his communications with Trump.

It asks a judge to invalidate two ‘overly broad’ subpoenas and accuses the committee of overreach by issuing a demand to Verizon for his cell phone records. 

‘After working with them – trying to work with them – it became obvious over the last 72 hours or so that they continued to plan to delve into both executive privilege and some of the deliberative speech that would have occurred as a result of my interactions with the president and other senior staff and so we had to make the tough decision to say that we’re gonna no longer cooperate,’ Meadows told the Jenna Ellis show.

He said revealing their conversations would set a dangerous precedent. 

It came after the committee investigating the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol building announced it would press ahead with contempt charges if he did not appear at 10am as requested.

‘The select 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,’ Chairman Bennie Thompson wrote on Tuesday.

Trump ally Mark Meadows launched a suit on Wednesday against the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 violence, after its chairman said it would push ahead with contempt charges after the former White House chief of staff stopped cooperating

The case asks a Washington judge to throw out two subpoenas which Meadows' lawyers said were 'overly broad' and unduly burdensome

The case asks a Washington judge to throw out two subpoenas which Meadows’ lawyers said were ‘overly broad’ and unduly burdensome

Rep. Bennie Thompson

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

The suit names panel chair Rep. Bennie Thompson as well as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi 

Meadows and other key allies of Trump say their communications with Trump are protected because he was president. 

‘The select committee acts absent any valid legislative power and threatens to violate longstanding principles of executive privilege and immunity that are of constitutional origin and dimension,’ his lawyers write in a court filing.

‘Without intervention by this court, Mr Meadows faces the harm of both being illegally coerced into violating the Constitution and having a third party involuntarily violate Mr Meadows rights and the requirements of relevant laws governing records of electronic communications.

‘Only this court can prevent these grave harms.’ 

But among the materials he did turn over is a 38-page PowerPoint presentation titled ‘Election Fraud, Foreign Interference & Options for 6 JAN’ that was to be provided ‘on the hill.’

Thompson’s letter reveals that Meadows was exchanging emails about the lengthy presentation up until the day before the Capitol attack. 

The letter to Meadows’ lawyer also revealed further bombshell details about communications that the former North Carolina congressman did send over to the committee. 

One of the most damning appears to be a text exchange between Meadows and an unnamed federal lawmaker that took place after the November 2020 election.

The letter refers to a ‘November 6, 2020, text 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”…’  

‘We have made efforts over many weeks to reach an accommodation with the committee,’ Meadows’ attorney said

Thompson sent Meadows' lawyer a lengthy letter informing him that the House will vote on a criminal referral for the ex-Trump official

Thompson sent Meadows’ lawyer a lengthy letter informing him that the House will vote on a criminal referral for the ex-Trump official

Thompson’s letter means the House could set up a vote to refer Meadows to the Justice Department for criminal charges as early as this Friday.  

Meadows is also accused of exchanging text messages with someone about the need for Trump to ‘issue a public statement that could have stopped the January 6th attack on the Capitol.’ 

The lawmaker-turned-White House official also allegedly spoke via text with an unnamed organizer of the January 6 Stop the Steal rally in ‘early January.’ 

On November 7, 2020, the letter claims, Meadows sent an email discussing appointing an alternate slate of electors in certain states, likely that voted for Biden, in a ‘direct and collateral attack.’

The day before the riot Meadows allegedly sent an email about having the National Guard on standby.

‘All of those documents raise issues about which the Select Committee would like to question Mr. Meadows and about which you appear to agree are not subject to a claim of privilege,’ Thompson wrote.

Despite the newly-revealed information Thompson stated that there were still more than a thousand items Meadows withheld due to claims of executive privilege.

Meadows is the third person to face a contempt vote in the House in the Democrat-led committee’s investigation, after ex-Trump adviser Steve Bannon and former DOJ official Jeffrey Clark.  

Hours earlier on Tuesday, Meadows had announced he would cease compliance with the committee after he and the committee could not come to agreement on the terms of his testimony, according to his attorney.  

Committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Mo., and Vice Chair Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., chided the former Trump official for ending cooperation with them as they say he reveals details about the day in his new book, ‘The Chief’s Chief.’ 

Jan. 6 Committee Vice Chair Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo.

Jan. 6 Committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Mo.

Committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Mo., and Vice Chair Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., chided the former Trump official for ending cooperation with them as they say he reveals details about the day in his new book, ‘The Chief’s Chief.’

‘Mark Meadows has informed the Select Committee that he does not intend to cooperate further with our investigation despite his willingness to provide details about the facts and circumstances surrounding the January 6th attack, including conversations with President Trump, in the book he is now promoting and selling,’ they wrote in a statement. 

They also said that they had questions about official communications Meadows had carried from his personal accounts. 

‘We also need to hear from him about voluminous official records stored in his personal phone and email accounts, which were required to be turned over to the National Archives in accordance with the Presidential Records act.’ 

Meadows’ attorney his client would no longer appear for a deposition in a letter to the committee released Tuesday. However, the letter noted that Meadows would still be willing to submit written answers to questions. 

‘We have made efforts over many weeks to reach an accommodation with the committee,’ Meadows’ attorney George Terwilliger told Fox, which first reported the news.    

Just one week ago the committee said that Meadows had provided them records and agreed to give a deposition ‘soon.’ Prior to that, Meadows, along with former Trump strategist Steve Bannon, had refused to cooperate raising the prospect of criminal contempt proceedings.

Bannon was indicted for contempt of Congress following a referral from the House after he failed to appear for proceedings. Asked what his client would do if he is subject to the same treatment, Terwilliger said he and Meadows will ‘cross that bridge when he come to it.’ 

He emphasized that the former senior Trump official ‘has made every effort to try and accommodate and work with this committee’ while still maintaining the position on privilege ‘he must maintain.’  

Terwilliger said the committee had not tried to meet him half way.  He said the committee was forging ahead with plans to look into privileged subject matters, pointing to how it had already issued one subpoena for Meadows’ phone records, even though he planned to turn them over voluntarily after screening them for privileged material.

The Jan. 6 Committee said Meadows still needed to appear to testify over non-privileged communications.  

‘Even as we litigate privilege issues, the Select Committee has numerous questions for Mr. Meadows about records he has turned over to the Committee with no claim of privilege, which include real-time communications with many individuals as the events of January 6th unfolded,’ Thompson and Cheney wrote in the statement.   

The attorney also pointed to a recent comment from Thompson, who said on MSNBC last week that when a defendant pleads the Fifth Amendment, ‘in some instances, that says you are part and parcel guilty to what occurred.’ 

Trump has urged his acolytes not to comply with subpoenas from the committee

Trump has urged his acolytes not to comply with subpoenas from the committee 

‘The chairman of the committee … publicly said that another witness’s claiming of the Fifth Amendment would be tantamount to an admission of guilt,’ Terwilliger said, adding that this called into question ‘exactly what is going on with this committee.’ 

Terwilliger said the committee had demonstrated a ‘wholesale waiver of any notion of executive privilege,’ or the right of the president to maintain certain private communications with his senior staff.

‘It is well-established that Congress’s subpoena authority is limited to the pursuit of a legitimate legislative purpose. Congress has no authority to conduct law enforcement investigations or free-standing “fact finding” missions. Even where there is a legislative purpose, requests that implicate the Separation of Powers by targeting current or former Executive officials must be narrowly tailored,’ Terwilliger wrote in the letter. 

Meadows’ ‘appreciation for our constitutional system and for the Separation of Powers dictates that he cannot voluntarily appear under these circumstances,’ the letter continued.  

In addition to the the two charges of contempt they’ve levied on Bannon, the committee has also approved contempt charges for former Justice Department lawyer Jeffrey Clark. He reportedly tried to pressure his seniors to ask state governments to investigate the 2020 results.

Prosecutors have not moved to indict Clark after he missed his hearing as he agreed to reschedule.  

As former chief of staff, Meadows is seen as a key witness to understanding Trump’s moves in the run up to Jan. 6 and the events on the day. 

No one  has been convicted of contempt of Congress since Watergate, and courts generally shy away from taking up such cases as as they are ‘political questions.’

As former chief of staff, Meadows is seen as a key witness to understanding Trump's moves in the run up to Jan. 6 and the events on the day

As former chief of staff, Meadows is seen as a key witness to understanding Trump’s moves in the run up to Jan. 6 and the events on the day

Meadows has made headlines over the past few weeks for revealing new details on Trump’s Covid diagnosis in his new book, ‘The Chief’s Chief.’ 

Meadows wrote that Trump tested positive, then negative, for the virus just three days before he got on the debate stage with Joe Biden.

Trump quickly denied the claim.

‘The story of me having COVID prior to, or during, the first debate is Fake News,’ he said.

Meadows reportedly wrote that the positive result came from an ‘old model testing kit,’ and that another COVID test came back negative – the White House never disclosed the first result, and the debate went on.

‘Well, the president’s right, it’s fake news,’ Meadows said in an interview with Newsmax Wednesday.

‘If you actually read the book, the context of it, that story outlined a false positive.’



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