Republican Mark Meadows is taking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D) to court.
Breitbart reports that Meadows, a former Republican congressman who served as Donald Trump’s chief of staff during the final months of his presidency, is suing Pelosi and all other members of the House select committee tasked with investigating the riot at the U.S. Capitol that occurred on Jan. 6.
The committee has been working for some time to get Meadows to testify on what he knows about the events that occurred on that day and the weeks leading up to it, even issuing a subpoena to compel his testimony. But Meadows hasn’t complied.
Contempt of Congress?
After much back-and-forth, Meadows’ attorney informed the committee Tuesday that Meadows wouldn’t be changing his mind, arguing that the subpoena sought protected information, including his private telephone records from Verizon, his cell provider.
Meadows’ team also claims the information sought is protected by the executive privilege enjoyed by former President Trump.
On Wednesday, the chairman of the House select committee, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-GA), responded by announcing that the panel would be pursuing criminal contempt of Congress charges.
“Meadows turns to the courts”
That’s when Meadows hit the panel with a suit. Filed Wednesday in the federal district court for the District of Columbia, the filing states:
The Select Committee acts absent any valid legislative power and threatens to violate longstanding principles of executive privilege and immunity that are of constitutional origin and dimension. Without intervention by this Court, Mr. Meadows faces the harm of both being illegally coerced into violating the Constitution and having a third party involuntarily violate Mr. Meadows rights and the requirements of relevant laws governing records of electronic communications.
According to Breitbart, the lawyers also said Meadows “has been put in the untenable position of choosing between conflicting privilege claims that are of constitutional origin and dimension and having to either risk enforcement of the subpoena issued to him, not merely by the House of Representatives, but through actions by the Executive and Judicial Branches, or, alternatively, unilaterally abandoning the former president’s claims of privileges and immunities.”
“Thus, Mr. Meadows turns to the courts to say what the law is,” the filing declares.
They’re not giving up
According to The Hill, Thompson released a statement late Wednesday along with committee vice chair Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) saying the suit “won’t succeed at slowing down the Select Committee’s investigation or stopping us from getting the information we’re seeking.”
“The Select Committee will meet next week to advance a report recommending that the House cite Mr. Meadows for contempt of Congress and refer him to the Department of Justice for prosecution,” the statement added.
Pelosi herself didn’t respond to The Hill’s request for comment.