Monday, January 24

House of Representatives votes to hold Meadows in contempt


(CNN) — The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives voted Tuesday night to recommend that the Justice Department file criminal charges against former Trump White House Secretary Mark Meadows for failing to stand for a deposition before the committee. select group investigating the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol.

The result of the vote was 222-208. Two Republicans on the select committee, Representatives Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, voted with Democrats in favor of the remission.

Mark Meadows no longer wants to appear against Trump 1:22

On Monday, the House Select Committee voted unanimously for Meadows to be held in contempt of Congress and now it is up to the Justice Department to decide whether to bring criminal charges against former President Donald’s former White House secretary general. Trump.

The vote, despite being approved by a Democratic majority, represents a significant moment in the January 6 investigation given Meadows’ role as Trump’s White House secretary general and his knowledge of efforts to revoke the 2020 election. Meadows is the second official to face such a recommendation from the panel. The committee approved a criminal contempt report against Trump ally Steve Bannon in October after he refused to meet a subpoena deadline.

Meadows insists on executive privilege

Meadows has consistently insisted that it wants to protect some of its conversations with the former president under claims of executive privilege, but it has already turned over thousands of documents that, according to the panel, only increase the need for it to testify.

But so far, Meadows has refused to do so and his challenge is at the center of Tuesday’s vote to refer him to criminal charges.

“The select committee report that referred Mr. Meadows on criminal contempt charges is clear and compelling,” committee chair Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, said Tuesday. “As Secretary General of the White House, Mr. Meadows played a role in or witnessed key events leading up to, and including the January 6 assault on the United States Capitol.”

Meadows’ attorney issued a new statement Tuesday before the House vote and said his client is cooperating with the committee in some way, but maintained that he cannot be compelled to appear for questioning as he does not have ” license to waive executive privilege “claimed by Trump.

Meadows “has fully cooperated with the unprivileged documents in his possession and has sought various means to provide other information while continuing to honor the former president’s claims of privilege,” his attorney, George J. Terwilliger III, said in a statement.

Texting

Wyoming Republican Representative Liz Cheney, vice chair of the select committee, said Tuesday that Meadows had received numerous text messages urging Trump to take action to stop the unrest he has produced without any claim of privilege.

Later Tuesday, Thompson told CNN that the committee “will decide within a week or so when to release” the names of the authors of the January 6 text messages to Meadows after members referenced several messages exchanged between the former White House secretary general and lawmakers as the riots unfolded.

Thompson said committee members felt it was “important” to post the content before publishing the names.

“Then we will do our own committee review to determine if and when we will release them,” Thompson said. “We will. I can’t tell you exactly when it will be.”

When asked if there were senators who had texted Meadows on January 6, Thompson revealed, “At this point, they are just members of the House.”

He also said the panel would likely notify Republican members before taking any action.

Others singled out in Trump’s circle

The committee was ready to move forward with the contempt charge of former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, but is giving him another chance to testify as he says he plans to file for the Fifth Amendment.

Meanwhile, the select committee continued its investigation, interviewing more witnesses on Tuesday, including former Vice President Mike Pence’s former national security adviser, Keith Kellogg.

Last month, Kellogg became the first person from Pence’s inner circle to be subpoenaed by the committee. In its letter to Kellogg, the committee specifically expressed interest in learning more about a January 2021 meeting with Trump and White House attorney Pat Cipollone, during which Trump insisted that Pence not certify the election, and any other. meeting.

The committee also stated in its letter that Kellogg had been in the White House on January 6 when the attack unfolded and that he has “direct information” on “Trump’s statements and reactions to the Capitol uprising.”

Kellogg is considered a key witness due to his proximity to Trump on January 6. The then-national security adviser to the former president, Robert O’Brien, was out of town that day.

Kellogg’s attorney told CNN on Tuesday that his client is cooperating with investigators. It also said Kellogg had not asserted executive privilege on testimony or documents.

While an adviser to the committee declined to comment on what had been asked or answered during the statement, they did not refute the claim that Kellogg is cooperating with the panel.

“They have good reason to be shaking”

The panel also spoke with Dustin Stockton, one of the organizers behind the pro-Trump rallies that took place on January 5-6.

Before meeting with the committee, Stockton’s attorney, Josh Nass, told reporters that his client has text messages and emails. with people “of high rank in the orbit of the ex-president”, as well as with members of the Congress, that it would deliver on Tuesday to the commission.

Those lawmakers and people close to Trump “have good reason to be shaking today,” Nass said.

“We’re talking about all kinds of … email correspondence, text messages,” he said.

CNN’s Ryan Nobles, Kristin Wilson, Holmes Lybrand, and Manu Raju contributed to this report.


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