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U.S. Home panel recommends contempt cost for ex-Trump aide Meadows By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: White Home Chief of Employees Mark Meadows speaks to reporters following a tv interview, outdoors the White Home in Washington, U.S. October 21, 2020. REUTERS/Al Drago/File Picture

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By Patricia Zengerle

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. congressional committee probing the lethal Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol voted unanimously on Monday to hunt “contempt of Congress” prices towards Mark Meadows, who served as White Home chief of workers to former President Donald Trump.

The seven Democratic and two Republican members of the Home of Representatives Choose Committee accepted a report recommending the legal cost towards Meadows by a 9-0 vote. The total, Democratic-led Home might vote as quickly as Tuesday to approve the decision.

Meadows has been known as repeatedly to look for depositions earlier than the Democratic-led committee and has declined to take action regardless of being subpoenaed.

Whereas he has turned over some data requested by the panel, he has held again many paperwork, arguing they’re protected as a result of he had labored for the president.

Meadows, who was a member of the Home for greater than seven years till becoming a member of the Trump administration in 2020, has sued the committee and Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi over the matter.

His lawyer, George Terwilliger, additionally despatched a letter on Monday asking the committee to rethink its plan to vote, arguing that it will be unlawful for the panel to refer the matter for a Home vote.

Consultant Bennie Thompson, the Choose Committee’s chairman, discounted that argument, noting that Meadows printed and is selling a e book that goes into element about occasions being investigated.

“He has no credible excuse for stonewalling the Choose Committee’s investigation,” Thompson mentioned.

Thompson mentioned about 300 witnesses have testified, and its investigators have acquired greater than 30,000 information.

“A small group of individuals have gotten quite a lot of consideration due to their defiance. However many others have taken a unique path and supplied essential details about January 6 and the context by which the riot occurred,” Thompson mentioned.

‘PROTECT PRO-TRUMP PEOPLE’

In its report on Sunday recommending the contempt cost, the Choose Committee mentioned Meadows acknowledged in an e mail forward of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot that the U.S. Nationwide Guard would “defend pro-Trump individuals.”

Republican Consultant Liz Cheney, the Jan. 6 committee’s vice chair, mentioned the committee wished Meadows to testify about “dozens of texts” he was despatched through the Capitol assault, together with from Donald Trump Jr. saying his father ought to inform his supporters to go residence.

“We can’t give up to President Trump’s efforts to cover what occurred,” she mentioned.

Committee members additionally mentioned they wished to ask Meadows about his textual content messages from members of Congress – who weren’t named – discussing methods to avoiding certifying the election consequence.

Meadows might grow to be the third affiliate of the previous Republican president to face a legal contempt of Congress cost. The Justice Division, on the Home’s request, has already introduced related prices towards Trump’s former chief strategist, Steve Bannon. The Home can be contemplating related motion towards former Justice Division official Jeffrey Clark.

Trump, at a rally on Jan. 6, repeated his false declare that his loss to Democratic President Joe Biden within the November 2020 election was the results of widespread fraud, and urged his supporters to march on the Capitol.

4 individuals died on the day of the riot, and one Capitol police officer died the subsequent day of accidents sustained whereas defending Congress. Lots of of police had been injured through the multi-hour onslaught by Trump supporters hoping to cease formal certification of his election defeat, and 4 officers have since taken their very own lives.

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