UNITED STATES NEWS

Meadows sues as Jan. 6 panel proceeds with contempt case

Dec 8, 2021, 2:47 PM | Updated: Dec 9, 2021, 8:38 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Wednesday sued the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection as the chairman of the panel pledged to move forward with contempt charges against him for defying a subpoena.

The dueling actions laid bare simmering tensions between the committee and Meadows, seen by lawmakers on the panel as a pivotal player in their investigation, and reflected a remarkable turnabout from last week, when Meadows’ lawyer had declared his intention of cooperating with the committee on certain areas of their inquiry.

Meadows’ lawsuit, filed in federal court in Washington, asks a judge to invalidate two subpoenas that he says are “overly broad and unduly burdensome.” It accuses the committee of overreaching by issuing a subpoena to Verizon for his cell phone records.

“Allowing an entirely partisan select committee of Congress to subpoena the personal cell phone data of executive officials would work a massive chilling of current and future Executive Branch officials’ associational and free speech rights,” the lawsuit states.

The complaint was filed hours after Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson, the committee chairman, declared he had “no choice” but to proceed with contempt charges against Meadows, who was subpoenaed more than two months ago and did not show up Wednesday for a scheduled deposition. Meadows’ lawyer, George Terwilliger, told the committee on Tuesday that his client was ending his cooperation.

In a letter responding to Terwilliger, Thompson noted that Meadows has already provided documents to the committee, including personal emails and texts about President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn his 2020 election defeat, and has also published a book, released this week, that discusses the Jan. 6 attack.

“That he would sell his telling of the facts of that day while denying a congressional committee the opportunity to ask him about the attack on our Capitol marks an historic and aggressive defiance of Congress,” Thompson wrote.

The move to hold Meadows in contempt comes as the committee has struggled to gain compliance from a few of the former president’s closest and most high-profile allies. Still, the panel has already conducted more than 250 interviews with witnesses as they attempt to compile the most comprehensive record yet of the brutal siege.

In a statement late Wednesday, Thompson and the committee’s Republican vice chairwoman, Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, said the panel will meet next week to vote on advancing criminal contempt charges against Meadows.

“Mr. Meadows’s flawed lawsuit won’t succeed at slowing down the Select Committee’s investigation or stopping us from getting the information we’re seeking,” the two lawmakers said.

Committee leaders have said they intend to punish anyone who will not comply with the probe, and the House has already voted to hold longtime Trump ally Steve Bannon in contempt after he defied their subpoena. The Justice Department later indicted Bannon on two counts.

In his letter to Terwilliger, Thompson summarized a handful of the thousands of documents that Meadows has already provided, including communications that involve White House efforts to overturn Joe Biden’s election victory. Meadows provided the committee last month with personal emails and backed-up data from his personal cellphone, including text messages, Thompson said.

He said the documents Meadows turned over included an email dated Nov. 7, 2020 — the day Biden was declared the White House winner — that Thompson described as “discussing the appointment of alternate slates of electors as part of a ‘direct and collateral attack’ after the election.” Thompson did not say who sent the email or give further details.

Thompson also described an email that referenced a 38-page PowerPoint presentation titled “Election Fraud, Foreign Interference & Options for 6 JAN” that Thompson said was intended to be shared on Capitol Hill. Thompson did not further elaborate on the email but said it was dated Jan. 5, 2021, the day before hundreds of Trump’s supporters violently breached the Capitol and interrupted the certification of Biden’s victory.

A separate Nov. 6, 2020, text exchange between Meadows and an unidentified member of Congress, Thompson wrote, was “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.'”

Also included in the documents, according to Thompson: a Jan. 5, 2021, email about having the National Guard on standby the next day; an “early 2021 text message exchange” between Meadows and an organizer of the rally held the morning of Jan. 6, when Trump told his supporters to “fight like hell”; and “text messages about the need for the former president to issue a public statement that could have stopped the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.”

Terwilliger did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the letter or confirm the contents of the documents.

Meadows’ decision to stop complying with the committee was a reversal after he had initially agreed to the deposition and after Terwilliger said the committee was open to allowing him to decline some questions based on Trump’s executive privilege claims.

Terwilliger then told the committee in a letter this week that a deposition had become “untenable” because the committee “has no intention of respecting boundaries” around questions that Trump claims are off-limits.

Trump has attempted to hinder much of the committee’s work, including in an ongoing court case, by arguing that Congress cannot obtain information about his private White House conversations.

Terwilliger also told the committee that he learned over the weekend that they had issued a subpoena to a third-party communications provider that he said would include “intensely personal” information about Meadows.

“As a result of careful and deliberate consideration of these factors, we now must decline the opportunity to appear voluntarily for a deposition,” Terwilliger wrote in the Tuesday letter.

In his response, Thompson confirmed the subpoenas to a third party but said it “does not impact Mr. Meadows’s production of documents and text messages, which are the areas we seek to develop during his deposition.”

The committee in August issued a sweeping demand that telecommunications and social media companies preserve the personal communications of hundreds of people who may have been connected to the attack. But the panel did not ask the companies to turn over the records at that time.

As the investigation has progressed, the committee has “sought data that will help answer important questions” but does not include the content of the communications, according to a committee aide who was not authorized to publicly discuss the investigation and spoke on condition of anonymity. The metadata requested includes dates and times of the communications, which could include both emails and texts.

___

Associated Press writer Jill Colvin contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

United States News

FILE - One of Pacific Gas & Electric's Diablo Canyon Power Plant's nuclear reactors in Avila Beach,...
Associated Press

California nuke extension challenged in legislative proposal

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A proposal circulated Friday by California Democratic legislators would reject Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan to extend the lifespan of the state’s last operating nuclear power plant — and instead spend over $1 billion to speed up the development of renewable energy, new transmission lines and storage to maintain reliable power in […]
20 hours ago
In this photo provided by the National Park Service, cars are stuck in mud and debris from flash fl...
Associated Press

Flood-damaged Death Valley to reopen popular sites to public

DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) — Death Valley National Park’s most popular sites will reopen to the public on Saturday, two weeks after massive flash-flooding, but the National Park Service cautioned visitors to expect delays and continuing road closures. Locations that will reopen include the Furnace Creek Visitor Center, Badwater Basin, Zabriskie Point, and […]
20 hours ago
Associated Press

Judge throws out Maine lawsuit against COVID vaccine mandate

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A federal judge has dismissed a complaint from a group of health care workers who said they were unfairly discriminated against by Maine’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement. The plaintiffs sued Democratic Gov. Janet Mills and other Maine officials along with a group of health care organizations in the state. The workers argued […]
20 hours ago
Associated Press

Federal court rejects Mississippi student’s racial bias suit

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A lawsuit alleging a school district in a small Mississippi Delta town discriminated against a Black student and stripped her of an academic award has been dismissed by a panel of federal judges. Olecia James filed the federal lawsuit in 2019 against the Cleveland School District, claiming officials prevented her from […]
20 hours ago
Former Vice President Mike Pence speaks to reporters during a visit to the Iowa State Fair, Friday,...
Associated Press

Pence says he didn’t leave office with classified material

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Former Vice President Mike Pence said Friday that he didn’t take any classified information with him when he left office. The disclosure — which would typically be unremarkable for a former vice president — is notable given that FBI agents seized classified and top secret information from his former boss’s […]
20 hours ago
(AP Photo/Richard Drew)...
Associated Press

Don’t dawdle with latest iPhone update. Here’s why and how

Apple released an upgrade Wednesday to close a security hole that could allow hackers to seize control of iPhones and several other popular Apple products.
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
...
CANVAS ANNUITY

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
Meadows sues as Jan. 6 panel proceeds with contempt case