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Mark Meadows Could Face Criminal Charges After Ignoring Jan. 6 Committee Subpoena

Nicholas Reimann
Updated Nov 12, 2021, 02:16pm EST


Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows did not show up Friday to give a deposition to the House committee investigating the January 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol, despite being legally obligated to do so, meaning Meadows could become the latest Trump Administration official facing contempt of Congress charges.

Key Facts

Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) warned Meadows' attorney in a letter that ignoring the committee's requests for documents and a deposition could result in the committee invoking contempt of Congress procedures.

Meadows is among the most prominent of dozens of former Trump officials that have been issued subpoenas legally requiring them to provide information to the committee regarding the January 6 rioting.

The House of Representatives has already voted to hold former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon in contempt for disregarding his subpoena, while Thompson told Politico that contempt is “on the table” for former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, who also ignored his subpoena.

Crucial Quote

“Mr. Meadows has not produced even a single document in response to the Select Committee’s subpoena,” Thompson said in the letter, sent on Thursday. “Simply put, there is no valid legal basis for Mr. Meadows’ continued resistance to the Select Committee’s subpoena.”

What To Watch For

If Meadows is to be held in contempt, the January 6 select committee must first vote for the charges, which will be followed by a vote of the full House. If the House votes in favor of charges, the Justice Department, which has final say in whether charges are issued, will then be alerted of the House’s recommendation. In Bannon’s case, the House has voted for charges, but the Justice Department has not made any indictments.

Key Background

Many of the most visible figures in the Trump Administration, including press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and senior advisor Stephen Miller, were issued subpoenas by the committee earlier this week, as Thompson said it works to find “every detail of what went on in the White House on January 6.” More than 150 witnesses have testified before committee investigators, according to the New York Times. At least 5 of those have been former Trump White House staffers who have decided to speak voluntarily, according to CNN. Trump has called the committee members “politically ambitious hacks” and said his supporters storming the U.S. Capitol was simply a “PROTEST.”

Further Reading

Jan. 6 panel to seek criminal charges after Meadows defies subpoena (Axios)

Kayleigh McEnany, Stephen Miller Among Trump Officials Subpoenaed By House Jan. 6 Committee (Forbes)

House Holds Bannon In Contempt For Refusing Jan. 6 Subpoena — Criminal Charges Could Follow (Forbes)

Trump DOJ official who aided effort to overturn election declines to answer Jan. 6 questions (Politico)

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