Meadows sues Pelosi, January 6 committee
(The hill) – Former Trump chief of staff in the White House Marc des meadows continues the President Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) And the House committee investigating the Jan.6 attack on the United States Capitol as he faces a likely dismissal for contempt for refusing to cooperate with the panel.
In a civil complaint filed Wednesday afternoon, lawyers for Meadows said the select committee did not have the power to issue subpoenas against it or obtain its phone records from a third party and that the denial President Biden’s assertion of executive privilege opens up constitutional questions that should be decided through the courts.
“As a result, Mr. Meadows, a witness, was placed in the untenable position of choosing between conflicting claims of privilege which are constitutional in origin and dimension and having to either risk the execution of his subpoena. was issued, not only by the House of Representatives, but by actions of the executive and the judiciary, or, alternatively, by unilaterally abandoning the claims of privileges and immunities of the former president ”, the complaint bed. “So Mr. Meadows looks to the courts to say what the law is.”
The lawsuit says Meadows believed the committee would “act in good faith” until it learned over the weekend that lawmakers had subpoenaed Verizon for its personal phone records. The telecommunications company told Meadows in a letter dated Saturday that it would comply with the committee’s summons by December 15, unless a court decides otherwise.
Spokesmen for Pelosi and the select committee did not immediately respond when asked to comment.
Meadows’ attorney said on Tuesday his client would not appear for an interview that was scheduled for Wednesday, reversing after a tentative deal was announced last week for Trump’s senior White House aide. provide records and testimony to the panel.
The president of the select committee, Rep. Bennie thompson (D-Miss.) Said on Tuesday the panel would vote in favor of the contempt of his former House colleague if he did not show up for the interview.
“If indeed Mr. Meadows refuses to appear, the select committee will have no choice but to advance the contempt proceedings and recommend that the body in which Mr. Meadows has previously served dismiss him for criminal prosecution.” Meadows said in a joint statement Tuesday with committee vice chair Rep. Liz cheney (R-Wyo.).
Thompson said Meadows was to inform the committee “of voluminous official documents stored in his personal phone and email accounts, which were to be turned over to the National Archives in accordance with the Presidential Records Act.”
CNN reported on Tuesday that the select committee had issued subpoenas for telephone tapes belonging to more than 100 people, including Meadows.
Meadows’ lawsuit argues that the select committee is not a legitimate legislative body and therefore its subpoenas are invalid and unenforceable. The former White House official also argues that the committee is demanding information and documents protected by Trump’s claims to executive privilege.
“The select committee’s summons to Mr. Meadows illegally seeks information covered by executive privilege and improperly attempts to compel a senior executive official to testify,” the lawsuit said. “During his tenure as Chief of Staff, Mr. Meadows was among the most senior officials of the executive and his communications and deliberations were covered by executive privilege. “
The question of a former president’s authority to claim executive privilege should be addressed by the DC Circuit Court of Appeals when it rules on Trump’s trial to prevent the National Archives from handing over hundreds of pages files of its administration to the select committee. A three-judge panel of the circuit court heard oral arguments in the case late last month, and yet its rules are likely to weigh heavily in Meadows’ trial.
This is a developing story, check back for updates.
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