January 19, 2022

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Jan. 6 panel prepares to recommend criminal charges against Meadows – Business Insider

2 min read
  • The Jan. 6 committee said it is prepared to recommend criminal contempt charges against Mark Meadows.
  • Meadows’ lawyer said he will not appear for a deposition scheduled for tomorrow.
  • The committee said if he doesn’t appear, it’ll recommend that “the body in which Mr. Meadows once served refer him for criminal prosecution.”

The chair and vice chair of the House select committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riot said it is prepared to recommend criminal contempt charges against former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.

Meadows’ attorney said in a letter to the panel Tuesday that Meadows’ deposition, scheduled for Wednesday, is “untenable” because the committee “has no intention of respecting boundaries” related to former President Donald Trump’s broad assertions of executive privilege regarding the Capitol riot investigation.

Rep. Adam Schiff of California, a member of the January 6 investigatory panel, said last week that Meadows undermined his own argument for withholding information from the committee because he wrote about matters related to the Capitol riot in his new memoir.

“Tomorrow’s deposition, which was scheduled at Mr. Meadows’s request, will go forward as planned,” committee chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson and vice chairwoman Rep. Liz Cheney said in their Tuesday statement. “If indeed Mr. Meadows refuses to appear, the Select Committee will be left no choice but to advance contempt proceedings and recommend that the body in which Mr. Meadows once served refer him for criminal prosecution.”

Meadows is the third Trump ally that the committee has advanced or is prepared to advance contempt proceedings against. Last month the Justice Department indicted former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon on two criminal contempt charges after Congress referred him. And the panel last week moved forward to recommend criminal contempt charges against Jeffrey Clark, a former top Trump appointee at the Justice Department.

The department has previously declined to bring criminal contempt charges against those who defy congressional subpoenas. But lawmakers on the bipartisan select committee have said they hope that will change under the Biden administration and allow the committee to fully investigate the Capitol riot.

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