The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill riot has issued multiple subpoenas to various individuals close to former President Donald Trump.
For his part, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has indicated that he will not comply with the subpoena he received to testify in a deposition.
According to Newsmax, Meadows was given until Friday to appear and failure to do so could result in him being held in contempt of Congress.
“A witness regarding the activities of that day”
The Democratic-led House panel is ostensibly investigating the events leading up to and during the riot. Many of Trump’s allies, however, see it as a continuation of a partisan witch hunt.
Meadows as Trump’s top aide at the time of the riot and the House committee believes he likely has information relevant to the investigation.
Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) issued a letter on Sept. 23 naming Meadows.
“You were the president’s chief of staff and have critical information regarding many elements of our inquiry,” he wrote. “It appears you were with or in the vicinity of President Trump on Jan. 6, had communications with the president and others on January 6 regarding events at the Capitol, and are a witness regarding activities of that day.”
“It would be irresponsible”
Just ahead of the deadline imposed by the subpoena, Meadows and his attorney issued a statement suggesting he would not comply.
“Legal disputes are appropriately resolved by courts,” the lawyer advised, according to Newsmax. “It would be irresponsible for Mr. Meadows to prematurely resolve that dispute by voluntarily waiving privileges that are at the heart of those legal issues.”
That statement referenced Trump’s claim that documents requested by the House committee are protected by executive privilege.
Thompson’s letter warned that if Meadows is a no-show as of Friday, the committee would consider him to be in “willful non-compliance,” which could result in contempt charges.
If he is held in contempt, it would be the second such case thus far in the committee’s probe. Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon also refused to comply with a subpoena he received from the panel. At this point, of course, it remains to be seen whether the Department of Justice will take congressional contempt charges seriously enough to actually prosecute them.