Mark Meadows Sues January 6 Committee After Threats Of Criminal Contempt Charges

Former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has filed a lawsuit against Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the members of her select committee investigating the events of January 6. The case involves the ongoing dispute between Meadows and the committee regarding subpoenas to produce documents and sit for sworn testimony before the committee.

The committee has issued subpoenas to dozens of Trump’s advisors and former White House staffers seeking documents and testimony regarding the rioting and trespassing at the Capitol building.

Meadows told the committee earlier this week through his attorney that he would no longer voluntarily cooperate with the committee’s subpoenas. Representatives of the committee immediately threatened to cite Meadows in contempt of Congress and seek to have him prosecuted criminally. The same contempt process is underway against former Trump advisor Stephen Bannon, who refused to cooperate with committee subpoenas.

Meadows did not appear for a deposition the committee had scheduled for him on Wednesday morning. A letter then went out with chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) to Meadows’ attorney telling him that the committee would seek criminal charges.

Thompson’s letter said that there is “no legitimate legal basis” for Meadows not to comply with the committee and testify about documents and events related to public statements and Meadow’s recently released book.

In his lawsuit filed in federal court, Meadows asks the court to set aside the subpoenas served by the committee on him and Verizon, his cell phone provider.

While Meadows was still complying voluntarily with the committee, he provided around 6,000 pages of requested documents. Some of his text message conversations were included in the material already handed over.

Meadows has not publicly said that he intends to refuse to testify by claiming the protection of the Fifth Amendment. Other witnesses, including Trump advisor Roger Stone and former DOJ employee Jeffrey Clark, have said they intend to refuse to testify on that basis. Part of Meadows’ stated reasons for refusing to comply with the committee is the comments of Thompson that claiming the Fifth Amendment before the committee is an implied admission of wrongdoing.