The United States House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot threatened to hold former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in contempt after he said he was no longer cooperating in the investigation.
In a statement on Dec. 7, Committee Chairperson Bennie Thompson and Vice Chair Liz Cheney said that they will advance contempt proceedings and recommend Meadows for criminal prosecution if he refuses to appear to a scheduled deposition on Dec. 8.
In a letter sent to the panel and obtained by media company Politico, Meadow’s attorney, George Terwilliger III, said that Meadows “must decline the opportunity to appear voluntarily for a deposition,” claiming that Congress had no authority to conduct the investigation.
Meadows also said in an interview on streaming news network Real America’s Voice that the documents the Committee was seeking was protected by executive privilege.
“We found that in spite of our cooperation and sharing documents with them they had issued unbeknownst to us, and not without even a courtesy call, issued a subpoena to a third party carrier trying to get information,” Meadows said in the interview.
“And so at this point, we feel like it’s best that we just continue to honor the executive privilege, and it looks like the courts are going to have to weigh in on this,” Meadows further said.
However, the Committee stated that even as they litigate questions about executive privilege, they have “numerous” questions about the records Meadows turned over, which included “real-time communications with many individuals as the events of January 6th unfolded.”
The Committee also said that they need to hear about “voluminous” official records in Meadow’s personal and email accounts, which were required to be turned over to the National Archives under the Presidential Records Act.
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