The House of Representatives on Tuesday voted to hold ex-president Donald Trump’s former chief of staffMark Meadows in contempt of Congress and refer him to the US Department of Justice for prosecution after his refusal to testify to the select committee investigating the Capitol riot.
On Monday, members of the committee a revealed texts between Mr Meadows and Donald Trump Jr and Fox News personalities, among others, revealing that they urged him to get Mr Trump to stop the riots in real-time. US Rep Liz Cheney revealed new texts on Tuesday, and US Senator Lindsey Graham said that he spoke with Ivanka Trump to deliver a message to her father urging him to “tell his people to leave.”
Mr Meadows has accused congressional Democrats of trying to “weaponise” the information he previously provided the committee as he faces explosive accusations of treasonous behaviour.
House votes to hold Mark Meadows in contempt of Congress and refers him for prosecution
Alex Woodward15 December 2021 04:12
Capitol rioter who texted about putting a bullet in Pelosi’s head is jailed
A North Carolina man who went to Washington DC on 6 January with guns and ammunition and texted about “putting a bullet” in the Nancy Pelosi’s “noggin” was sentenced to serve 28 months in prison on Tuesday.
Alex Woodward15 December 2021 03:00
Hannity calls committee’s release of his texts to Meadows a ‘smear’ attempt
A day after the House committee investigating the Capitol riot released text messages to Mark Meadows during the attack, including from several Fox News hosts, Sean Hannity calls their release a “weak attempt to smear.”
“I said to Mark Meadows the exact same thing I was saying live on the radio at the time and on TV that night,” he said.
But on his radio broadcast that day, Hannity said: “It’s on video, it’s all antifa,”
“I don’t know who the people are that got in there. I’ve seen videos like you have, but that doesn’t represent how we the people feel, or why we feel like we do, the honest peaceful protester,” he said.
He said there were “reports that groups like antifa, other radical groups – I don’t know the names of all of them – that they were there to cause trouble.”
He texted Meadows: “Can he make a statement? Ask people to leave the Capitol?”
Laura Ingraham texted him: “The president needs to tell people in the Capitol to go home. This is hurting all of us. He is destroying his legacy.”
Alex Woodward15 December 2021 02:33
House begins debate over Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, with Meadows contempt vote to follow
The House is now debating bicameral legislation on the Uyghur Forced LaborPrevention Act, which would ban the importation of goods made with forced labor in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China.
A House version of the bill passed last week.
In a statement on Tuesday night, press secretary Jen Psaki said “the president welcomes the agreement by Congress on the bipartisan Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act.”
“We agree with Congress that action can and must be taken to hold the People’s Republic of China accountable for genocide and human rights abuses and to address forced labor in Xinjiang,” she said. “The Administration will work closely with Congress to implement this bill to ensure global supply chains are free of forced labor, while simultaneously working to on-shore and third-shore key supply chains, including semiconductors and clean energy.”
A vote on the contempt resolution for former Trump aide Mark Meadows is expected after debate ends.
Alex Woodward15 December 2021 01:59
Trump fails in latest effort to shield his tax returns from Congress
A federal judge has cleared the way for Congress to acquire Donald Trump’s tax returns from during much of his time in the White House.
The ruling rejected a lawsuit from the former president seeking to block the Treasury Department from handing over the records, which Mr Trump had argued would amount to political persecution.
Congress is owed “great deference” when making oversight requests, and Mr Trump was “wrong on the law,” wrote Washington DC district judge Trevor McFadden, a Trump appointee, in his decision on Tuesday.
Josh Marcus has more:
Alex Woodward15 December 2021 01:46
GOP lawmaker accuses Omar of belonging to ‘terrorist organisations’ after objecting to legislation to address Islamophobia
Before the House votes on the contempt of Congress resolution, lawmakers debated legislation to monitor and combat Islamophobia, authored by US Reps Ilhan Omar and Jan Schakowsky as the Combating International Islamophobia Act.
The measure calls for the US Department of State to create an office headed by a special envoy to be appointed by the president. The office would then record Islamophobic incidents, including attacks and threats against Muslims and places of worship, schools and other centres.
Speaking in opposition to the measure, US Rep Scott Perry accused Rep Omar – among one of two Muslim women in Congress – of being affiliated with “terrorist organisations”. House Democrats objected to the comments and have asked his remarks to be removed from the proceedings.
Rep Omar has been at the centre of anti-Muslim right-wing attacks, most recently from far-right US Rep Lauren Boebert, who suggested in speeches to her constituents that she was mistaken for a terrorist at the US Capitol.
Alex Woodward15 December 2021 00:56
Trump lawyer sues to block phone records from committee
Trump lawyer John Eastman has sued Verizon and the House committee investigation the Capitol riot to block the release of phone records sought by the committee.
Eastman, who represented the president in attempts to overturn election results and drafted memos arguing Mike Pence’s authority to reject them, previously said he plans to invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination with the committee. He was summoned in a subpoena for a deposition and to turn over documents.
Alex Woodward15 December 2021 00:30
Exclusive: Meadows texts rocked January 6 probe but chairman warns Trump loyalists could run out clock
The chairman of the House select committee investigating the Capitol riot has warned that Trump loyalists could run out the clock ahead of the chamber’s vote to hold former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in contempt of Congress.
Committee chair Bennie Thompson told The Independent off the floor of the House of Representatives on Tuesday that “we didn’t get all the information we wanted, we tried to negotiate with him, it didn’t work out.”
“And so for our purposes, what we can do with the contempt vote, is just pass it on to the Department of Justice,” he said.
But with this being the second contempt vote the House has had, it is entirely possible that other Trump administration officials could follow Meadows and Steve Bannon, who was indicted for contempt by the Justice Department after the committee’s resolution.
“We’ll see what happens when that time comes, but I think anytime you bring senior people who worked in the administration in one capacity or another – one who used to, one who did before the change of the administration – I don’t know how high you can get beyond that,” Thompson told The Independent.
Eric Garcia has more:
Alex Woodward15 December 2021 00:15
Fox hosts Hannity and Ingraham to address their texts to Meadows
Fox News host Brett Baier reports that Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham will be addressing their texts to Mark Meadows “in depth” on the network tonight.
They have since downplayed the president’s role in the attack and turned their ire to Democrats for the investigation.
Alex Woodward14 December 2021 23:50
Debate has ended
The House of Representatives has closed debate ahead of a vote on whether to refer criminal contempt of Congress charges to the US Department of Justice for former Trump chief of staff and former congressman Mark Meadows.
He is the second-ever congressman to face contempt charges from his own colleagues, and the second former Trump aide to face them in connection with the select committee’s probe into the events surrounding the Capitol insurrection, after Steve Bannon refused to appear before the committee.
The committee voted to support the resolution on Monday night. Here’s what happened:
Alex Woodward14 December 2021 23:18