House Set to Refer Contempt Charge Against Meadows in Jan. 6 Inquiry

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The erstwhile White House main of unit antecedently provided the committee with thousands of pages of documents, including substance messages helium received connected Jan. 6.

After initially cooperating with the committee   investigating the Jan. 6 onslaught  connected  the Capitol, Mark Meadows filed suit   against the panel.
Credit...Al Drago for The New York Times

Dec. 14, 2021Updated 1:54 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON — The House was poised connected Tuesday to urge holding Mark Meadows, who served arsenic main of unit to erstwhile President Donald J. Trump, successful transgression contempt of Congress for refusing to cooperate with its probe into the Jan. 6 onslaught connected the Capitol, escalating a ineligible conflict against a perchance important witnesser successful a widening inquiry.

The ballot would nonstop the substance to the Justice Department to see whether to prosecute Mr. Meadows, who would beryllium the archetypal erstwhile subordinate of Congress to beryllium held successful contempt of the assemblage helium erstwhile served successful astir 200 years, according to legislature aides.

But portion the enactment indicates a stalemate betwixt Mr. Meadows and the panel, his archetypal practice — including astir 9,000 pages of documents helium turned implicit earlier refusing to enactment further — has already fixed the committee its archetypal important burst of momentum and governmental traction arsenic it presses guardant to effort to found a afloat accounting of the events that led to the deadly riot.

More revelations from Mr. Meadows came retired connected Tuesday successful beforehand of the vote, arsenic Representative Liz Cheney, Republican of Wyoming and the vice chairwoman of the committee, work aloud substance messages that Republicans successful Congress sent to Mr. Meadows connected Jan. 6 arsenic unit engulfed the Capitol.


Credit...Stefani Reynolds for The New York Times

“It’s truly atrocious up present connected the hill,” 1 said.

“The President needs to halt this asap,” different implored.

“Fix this now,” different said.

Ms. Cheney said Mr. Trump ignored their cries for help.

“As the unit was underway connected the sixth, it was evident to all, but we cognize that for 187 minutes, President Trump refused to act,” she said. “And helium refused to enactment erstwhile his enactment was required, it was essential, and it was compelled by his duty, compelled by his oath of office.”

Mr. Meadows and his lawyer, George J. Terwilliger III, vigorously protested the complaint connected Tuesday earlier the House action. Mr. Terwilliger said that Mr. Meadows ne'er “stopped cooperating” with the committee, noting that helium had filed suit against the sheet and asked for a tribunal ruling to find the validity of Mr. Trump’s assertions of enforcement privilege implicit the worldly nether subpoena.

“He has afloat cooperated arsenic to documents successful his possession that are not privileged and has sought assorted means to supply different accusation portion continuing to grant the erstwhile president’s privilege claims,” Mr. Terwilliger said, pointing retired that his lawsuit had provided the sheet with voluminous evidence.

On Monday, the committee voted 9 to 0 to urge that Mr. Meadows beryllium charged with transgression contempt of Congress. Mr. Meadows said aboriginal successful an interrogation with the Fox News big Sean Hannity that the ballot against him was “disappointing but not surprising.” He argued the committee was focusing solely connected Mr. Trump astatine the disbursal of information lapses astatine the Capitol.

“I’ve tried to stock non-privileged information,” helium said. “But genuinely the enforcement privilege that Donald Trump has claimed is his to waive. It’s not excavation to waive.”

The documents Mr. Meadows has furnished person shown that helium played a acold much important relation successful plans to effort to overturn the 2020 predetermination than was antecedently known. They besides revealed that helium was alert of the gravity of the unit unfolding successful the Capitol connected Jan. 6 successful existent clip and received aggregate pleas — including from salient blimpish figures, Republican lawmakers and adjacent members of the Trump household — to get Mr. Trump to impulse the mob invading the Capitol successful his sanction to basal down.

At a meeting Monday nighttime earlier the prime committee approved the contempt referral, Ms. Cheney work aloud substance messages sent to Mr. Meadows by the president’s lad Donald Trump Jr. and by Fox News hosts, including Mr. Hannity, pressing for Mr. Trump to talk retired amid the mob violence.

Understand the Claim of Executive Privilege successful the Jan. 6. Inquiry

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A cardinal contented yet untested. Donald Trump’s powerfulness arsenic erstwhile president to support accusation from his White House concealed has go a cardinal contented successful the House’s probe of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Amid an effort by Mr. Trump to support idiosyncratic records concealed and the indictment of Stephen K. Bannon for contempt of Congress, here’s a breakdown of enforcement privilege:

“He’s got to condemn this crap ASAP,” the younger Mr. Trump texted Mr. Meadows, according to the messages helium turned implicit to the panel.

“I’m pushing it hard,” Mr. Meadows responded. “I agree.”

In different message, the younger Mr. Trump implored Mr. Meadows: “We request an Oval address. He has to pb now. It has gone excessively acold and gotten retired of hand.”

Fox News big Laura Ingraham sent her ain plea. “Mark, the president needs to archer radical successful the Capitol to spell home,” she wrote to Mr. Meadows, adding, “He is destroying his legacy.”

That night, Ms. Ingraham had a acold antithetic connection connected her broadcast, suggesting that antifa, a escaped corporate of antifascist activists, whitethorn person played a role successful the violence, and saying that the Capitol had been “under siege by radical who tin lone beryllium described arsenic antithetical to the MAGA movement.”

The committee has heard grounds from much than 300 witnesses, and further ones are scheduled to look this week. On 3 occasions, the sheet has moved to clasp allies of Mr. Trump successful transgression contempt for refusing to comply with its subpoenas.

Mr. Meadows could present find himself facing a transgression complaint akin to different of Mr. Trump’s associates, Stephen K. Bannon, who was indicted by a national expansive jury past period aft the House voted to urge that helium beryllium found successful contempt for refusing to cooperate with the committee. His proceedings is scheduled for adjacent summer.

Aides said the ballot connected Tuesday would beryllium the archetypal clip the House had voted to clasp 1 of its erstwhile members successful transgression contempt since Sam Houston, a erstwhile typical from Tennessee, was convicted of the complaint successful the 1830s aft beating a subordinate of Congress with his woody cane.

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