The US House of Representatives is due to vote Tuesday on whether to seek contempt of Congress charges against Mark Meadows, Donald Trump’s chief of staff, for refusing to cooperate with a congressional investigation into the attack murder of the Capitol on January 6.
The seven Democrats and two Republicans on the special committee to investigate the attack voted unanimously Monday night to recommend that the Plenary Assembly approve its report arguing for a contempt of Congress charge against Meadows, who served in the House before joining the administration of the Republican president. .
Republican Representative Liz Cheney, vice-chair of the panel, read panicked texts from Republicans and others pleading Meadows on Jan.6 to urge Trump to appear publicly and recall his supporters. The texts surfaced during the investigation of the select committee.
“He has to condemn this shit ASAP. We need an Oval Office address, ”Trump’s son Donald Jr. said in a text. In other texts, conservative media hosts made similar private calls to Meadows – before downplaying the violence of the attack on air.
“The American people deserve to know all the steps taken by Donald Trump and his entourage and his campaign in order to modify the election results,” Cheney said.
Trump, at a rally on Jan.6, repeated his false claim that his defeat to Democratic President Joe Biden in the November 2020 election was the result of widespread fraud, and urged his supporters to step forward. Capitol Hill as Congress convened to certify Biden’s victory. . Biden took office on January 20.
Four people died on the day of the riot and a Capitol Hill police officer died the next day from injuries sustained while defending Congress. Hundreds of police were injured in the hour-long attack by Trump supporters, and four officers have since committed suicide.
Separately, the city of Washington sued two right-wing groups on Tuesday for financial costs associated with the Jan.6 assault on Capitol Hill.
The House Rules Committee advanced the contempt resolution by 8-4 on Tuesday, voting along party lines with Republicans voting no. That set the stage for its consideration by the entire Democratic-led House later today. If the House approves the resolution, as scheduled, it will send the matter to the Department of Justice to decide whether to lay charges.
The charge is punishable by one year in prison.
“Everyone’s life was in danger”
Rep. Tom Cole, the top Republican on the rules panel, argued that it was too early for a recommendation of contempt, given lawsuits filed by Trump and Meadows himself arguing that communications from the former president should be protected by executive privilege and that committee subpoenas are too broad.
“Today’s action is very premature,” Cole said.
Rules Committee Chairman Democrat Jim McGovern said, “Everyone’s lives were in danger on the Capitol campus” in the worst attack on the seat of government since the War of 1812.
Meadows’ lawyer George Terwilliger said in a statement Tuesday that his client had not stopped cooperating.
“He has always maintained that as a former chief of staff he could not be compelled to appear for questioning and that as a witness he was not allowed to waive the executive privilege claimed by the former president, ”Terwilliger said.
Last week, a federal appeals court dismissed Trump’s request to withhold documents due to executive privilege, noting that Biden, as president, had already authorized their release.
“Both branches agree that there is a unique legislative need for these documents and that they are directly relevant to the Committee’s investigation into an attack on the legislative branch and its constitutional role in the peaceful transfer of power,” said the tribunal.
Meadows could become Trump’s third partner to face a criminal contempt charge. The Justice Department, at the request of the House, brought similar charges against former Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon. The House is considering a similar action against former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark.
Cheney said at the rules committee meeting that Trump had wanted to appoint Clark attorney general of the United States.
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