The House select committee investigating the January 6 Capitol attack has issued a scathing report on Trump’s former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, asserting that his refusal to testify before the commission requires contempt of Congress charges.
In the 51-page report released on Sunday, the January 6 commission listed a number of issues it still wishes to discuss with Meadows — including an email he sent on January 5 detailing how the National Guard’s presence in Washington D.C. the next day would serve to “protect pro Trump people.”
Observers have pointed out that including NBC News legal analyst Glenn Kirschner, the corollary to that email is that the National Guard “would not protect anti Trump people” on the day the 2020 election was certified.
The January 6 commission didn’t include the name of the email’s recipient in their report. However, they did mention that the committee investigators would like to interview the former chief of staff more about the contents of this email.
“We would have asked Mr. Meadows about emails regarding the deployment of the National Guard on January 6, including an email from Mr. Meadows on January 5, in which he indicates that the Guard would be present at the Capitol to, quote, ‘‘protect pro Trump people,’’ end quote,” the commission wrotereferring to a Meadows deposition that was skipped last week.
Meadows claimed that he couldn’t appear at the deposition because of executive privilege claims made by Trump. But the commission has noted that the testimony they’re seeking from Meadows relates to matters he’s already shared with them — information that Meadows himself has said is not privileged.
“Even if privileges were applicable to some aspects of Mr. Meadows’s testimony, he was required to appear before the Select Committee for his deposition, answer any questions concerning non-privileged information, and assert any such privilege on a question-by-question basis,” the commission wrote in its resolution.
Meadows should be contacted directly by the commission, beyond the email about the National Guard. about number of items he recently shared with them, including his text messages to one of the January 6 event organizers and his communications surrounding a plot for Republican legislatures in states that Biden won to send “alternative” electors to Congress.
Meadow’s cooperation with the commission has been inconsistent so far. Meadows was one former Trump staffer who was able to cooperate with the commission early on. Was willing to work with investigatorsMeadows was subpoenaed. But later on, Meadows was threatened with contempt charges for refusing to comply with the commission’s terms for his depositions.
Meadows finally agreed with the cooperation in late November, claiming he would only testify about information that wouldn’t conflict with Trump’s dubious executive privilege claims. Last Wednesday, he refused to appear at a hearing that was to discuss non-privileged topics.
The January 6th commission will vote to forward contempt accusations to the House of Representatives Monday. The House is expected to vote later in the week on those charges. If the majority votes to affirm them, which is likely, Meadows would become the third person to be held in contempt of CongressFor violating subpoena order from the commission, Jeffrey Clark, a former Department of Justice official, and Steve Bannon (former White House strategist) were among those who were convicted.