House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) Jan. 6 select committee is back on the witch hunt, this time targeting one of former President Donald Trump’s closest allies.
According to The Daily Wire, the committee, led mostly by Democrats and a handful of anti-Trump Republicans, threatened to hold Mark Meadows, a former congressman and Trump’s chief of staff, in contempt of Congress should he follow through on refusing a deposition.
In late-breaking news, it was confirmed on Wednesday morning by Axios that Meadows, who failed to appear at the deposition, will be held in contempt.
According to Committee Chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS), Meadows’ attorney, George Terwilliger, received a letter stating that the committee was “left with no choice but to advance contempt proceedings and recommend that the body in which Mr. Meadows once served refer him for criminal prosecution.”
What’s going on?
Earlier in the week, it was Thompson and Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) who announced that Meadows faced possible contempt charges if he made the decision to ignore the congressional subpoena.
“Tomorrow’s deposition, which was scheduled at Mr. Meadows’s request, will go forward as planned. If indeed Mr. Meadows refuses to appear, the Select Committee will be left no choice but to advance contempt proceedings and recommend that the body in which Mr. Meadows once served refer him for criminal prosecution,” Cheney and Thompson said on Tuesday.
It was a familiar scenario, as a similar situation played out with former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, who was ultimately held in contempt and then indicted by President Joe Biden’s Justice Department, in what many described as a weaponization of the process.
Terwilliger had responded to the select committee, explaining that he and his client had already turned over troves of requested documents and information, and added that his client was ready to voluntarily show up for the deposition until the threats of contempt charges were leveled against him.
“We agreed to provide thousands of pages of responsive documents and Mr. Meadows was willing to appear voluntarily, not under compulsion of the Select Committee’s subpoena to him, for a deposition to answer questions about non-privileged matters. Now actions by the Select Committee have made such an appearance untenable,” Terwilliger wrote.
As The Daily Wire noted, Meadows is a prime target of Pelosi’s select committee given his close ties with the former president. In other words, he’s as close to Trump as the committee could ever hope to snag, though it doesn’t appear as if it’ll get the chance to do so.
“Meadows reportedly communicated with officials at the state level and in the Department of Justice as part of an effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election or prevent the election’s certification,” the committee wrote.
Meadows presumably has access to top legal talent, which it looks as though he’ll need if he wants to escape the same fate as Bannon.