Board of Inquiry January 6 votes on contempt charges against former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows

WASHINGTON – The committee investigating the January 6 U.S. Capitol insurgency voted on Monday to recommend contempt charges against former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows as lawmakers demanded his testimony about his actions. President Donald Trump’s actions before and during the attack.

“Whatever legacy he thinks he left in the House, this is his legacy now,” Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said of Meadows, a former congressman. Republicans from North Carolina – in opening remarks. “His former colleagues kicked him out for criminal prosecution because he would not answer questions about what he knew about a brutal attack on our democracy. That is. his legacy.”

The committee voted 9-0 to move criminal charges against Meadows, who refused to appear for impeachment last week. Lawmakers planned to ask about Trump’s efforts to overturn the election in the weeks leading up to the uprising, including Meadows’ outreach to states and his communications with members of Congress.

Trump’s former top White House aide “was in a unique position to provide key information, having an official role in the White House and an informal role related to Mr Trump’s re-election campaign”. the council said in a 51-page report published Sunday night.

The report details questions from lawmakers about the thousands of emails and documents Meadows provided to the committee before he ended the partnership – including 6,600 pages of records taken from personal email accounts and about 2,000 text messages.

The panel has not released all of the documents, but the report said they include exchanges about Meadows’ attempt to help Trump overturn his defeat in the presidential election, communications with members Congress and organizers of a rally held on the morning of the uprising and frenzied messages among aides and others when the violent attack occurred that day.

Representative Liz Cheney, the committee’s vice chair, detailed Monday a series of text messages Meadows received on January 6 from a range of people, including Fox News supporters. and Donald Trump Jr. tried to contact Trump through his chief of staff, begging him to take action against the violence taking place outside and inside the Capitol.

“He must condemn this… The sooner the better,” Trump Jr. write. “The Capitol Police tweet is not enough.”

Meadows responded, saying, “I’m trying very hard. I agree.”

“Hey Mark, the president needs to tell everyone on the Capitol to go home…this is hurting us all…he’s destroying his legacy,” said the Fox News host. Laura Ingraham texted Meadows.

“Please put him on TV. Destroy everything you’ve accomplished,” wrote Brian Kilmeade.

As part of a list of questions for Meadows, the panel said it wanted to know more about whether Trump would engage in discussions regarding the National Guard response, which has been delayed. postponed for hours as violence escalated and rioters beat police guarding the Capitol Building.

Documents provided by Meadows include an email he sent to an unidentified person saying the Guard would be there to “protect Trump supporters,” the panel said, and more. more will be available in standby mode. The commission did not disclose any additional details about the email.

The contempt vote comes after more than two months of negotiations with Meadows and his attorneys, and because the panel has also struggled to get information from some of Trump’s other top aides, such as co-conspirators. Steve Bannon’s longtime ally. The House of Representatives voted to recommend charges against Bannon in October, and the Justice Department indicted him on two misdemeanor counts last month.

The panel is aiming to build the most comprehensive record to date of the attack, in which hundreds of Trump supporters outsmarted law enforcement officers, broke into the Capitol and disrupted Biden’s endorsement of victory. Meadows’ testimony could be key, as he was Trump’s top aide at the time and was with him in the White House when rioters broke into the Capitol building.

In a letter Monday to Thompson, Meadows attorney George Terwilliger said the contempt vote would be “unjust” because Meadows is one of Trump’s top aides and all presidents should be grant executive privileges to shield their private conversations. Meadows himself sued the panel, asking the court to void two subpoenas that he said were “too broad and too burdensome.”

Terwilliger noted that contempt has been used in the past, and said that the introduction of contempt for a senior aide to the president “would do great damage to the President’s institution.”

In the transcript of the deposition that Meadows overlooked, released as part of Sunday’s report, an unnamed member of the panel’s coroner detailed several questions that he will be asked if he shows up.

Many questions focused on Trump’s efforts to overturn the election in the weeks leading up to the uprising, including Meadows’ outreach to the states and his communications with members of Congress.

Committee staffers said they would interview Meadows about emails “sent to Department of Justice leadership on December 29 and 30, 2020 and January 1, 2021, encouraging investigations into suspected fraud. voter fraud”, although election officials and courts across the country have denied those claims.

The panel said Meadows also provided text messages sent to and from members of Congress “before, during, and after the attack on the United States Capitol.” An exchange with a lawmaker related to efforts to contact state legislators about the election because Trump “wanted to talk to them.”

In a written exchange with an unnamed senator, the committee said, Meadows said Trump believes Vice President Mike Pence has the power to deny the electors the role of presiding over the January 6 certification. . Pence does not have that power by law, since the vice president’s function is largely ceremonial.

The committee said on November 6, 2020, an exchange of texts between Meadows and an unspecified member of Congress on the appointment of alternate electors in several states, a plan that member This will “cause great controversy.” The committee said that Meadows replied, “I like it.”

In other texts, sent on the day of the attack, Meadows’ former colleagues encouraged him to urge Trump to stop the violence, the committee said. Similarly, in an exchange with an organizer of a rally that morning – a gathering where Trump told his supporters to “fight like hell” – the organizer told Meadows that they “really in need of his direction because things ‘have gone crazy'”.

The panel’s expected vote to propose the contempt charge to Congress will send a full-house recommendation, which could be voted on as soon as this week, to the Justice Department. The department will then decide whether to prosecute.

Thompson and the committee’s Republican vice chair, Liz Cheney, Representative of Wyoming, said last week that Meadows’ lawsuit “will not succeed in slowing the Selection Committee’s investigation or stopping them.” I get the information we’re looking for.”

The panel interviewed nearly 300 witnesses, and the lawmakers said they plan to hold a series of hearings early next year to make many of their findings public.

Copyright © 2021 by Associated Press. Copyright Registered. Board of Inquiry January 6 votes on contempt charges against former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows

Dais Johnston

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