Late Tuesday night, the House voted to contempt former President Trump’s chief staff Mark Meadows for refusing to obey a subpoena. The House select committee was investigating the January 6 attack against the U.S. Capitol.
The final vote was 222-208. Only two Republicans, Reps. Liz Cheney & Adam Kinzinger joined all Democrats.
This matter will now be referred to the Justice Department. The House had already recommended in October that Steve Bannon, a former Trump adviser, be held in contempt for refusing the subpoena. He was then indicted by the Justice Department for two counts of contempt. He pleaded not guilty and could face up to one year in prison for each of the charges if convicted.
On Monday night Cheney, who is a member of the January 6 committee, read aloud texts that were sent to Meadows by Donald Trump Jr., Fox News hosts Sean Hannity and Brian Kilmeade, and Laura Ingraham.
Cheney stated that “These non-privileged texts are further evidence of President Trump’s supreme dereliction of duty during those 187 minutes,”
“He’s got to condemn this s**t ASAP. The Capitol Police tweet is not enough,” Trump Jr. wrote, as read by Cheney. In a tweet from his now-banned account, the president told his supporters just after 2:30 p.m. on January 6 to “Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!”
Meadows responded, “I’m pushing it hard. I agree.”
On Tuesday, the committee members read additional texts before the full House. One was from a member who said it was “amazing that Jeffrey Clark had been “put in.”
Meadows’ attorney, George J. Terwilliger, claimed in a statement Tuesday that Meadows had never “stopped cooperating as is widely reported.” He insisted Meadows has “fully cooperated,” noting that he has provided “documents in his possession that are not privileged and has sought various means to provide other information while continuing to honor the former president’s privilege claims.”
Meadows presented to the committee a PowerPoint presentation titled, “Election Fraud. Foreign Interference & Options For JAN 6”. Thompson wrote last week that the PowerPoint was originally intended to be distributed only to Congressmen.
According to the contempt report, Meadows also stated in an email dated January 5, that the National Guard would be present at Washington the next day “to protect pro Trump people.”
Also, the contempt report described an email Meadows sent on January 5, in which he stated that the National Guard would be present at Washington the next day to “protect pro-Trump people.” Although Meadows stated that many more Guardsmen would remain on standby, the committee did not provide any details.
A transcript of questions that Meadows would have been asked if he had shown up was also attached by the committee to its report. The transcript cited text messages between Meadows and a senator in which they discussed then Vice President Mike Pence’s “power to reject electors” thereby potentially changing the outcome of the election. In one of the texts, Meadows “recounts a direct communication with President Trump who, according to Mr. Meadows in his text messages, quote, ‘thinks the legislators have the power, but the VP has power too,’ end quote.”
The committee issued subpoenas for several members of Trump’s inner circle including Stephen Miller, a former top advisor, and Kayleigh McEnany, formerly press secretary.
Conservative activist Dustin Stockton (who promoted rallies leading to January 6, but not the Stop the Steal rally) and Keith Kellogg (national security adviser to Vice President Mike Pence), both sat for interviews on Tuesday with the January 6 select panel.
The House select committee was established by Speaker Nancy Pelosi earlier in the year. It is currently investigating the January 6th attack when thousands of Trump supporters gathered at the Capitol to witness Congress counting the electoral votes. This was a ceremonial last step that confirmed Mr. Biden’s victory. Five people were killed and hundreds more were arrested during the riot. Trump encouraged his supporters to “walk up” to the Capitol during the Stop the Steal rallies. However, he was impeached by the House for inciting the disturbance one week later, but later was acquitted of the charge by the Senate.