The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot voted on Monday to recommend contempt charges for former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.
Before becoming former President Donald Trump’s final chief of staff, Meadows was a lawmaker, representing North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District. Meadows did provide the panel with thousands of text messages and emails related to the events of Jan. 6, but stopped cooperating last week after claiming the documents were protected by executive privilege, leading to the contempt vote.
“Mr. Meadows started by doing the right thing — cooperating,” committee Chair Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said on Monday. “He handed over records that he didn’t try to shield behind some excuse. But in an investigation like ours, that’s just a first step. When the records raise questions — as these most certainly do — you have to come in and answer those questions. And when it was time for him to follow the law, come in, and testify on those questions, he changed his mind and told us to pound sand. He didn’t even show up.”
Now, the criminal contempt report will go to the House for a full vote, the final step before the referral is sent to the Department of Justice.