(ConservativeStar.com) – A former Donald Trump administration official is hitting back against the Democrat-led inquisition into the January 6 Capitol incident. Mark Meadows, who served as chief of staff for the last year of the Trump presidency, is being threatened with contempt proceedings unless he obeys a demand to appear in front of the panel.
Meadows says he doesn’t have to turn over the documents – and now he’s asked a court to back him.
Meadows Defies the Inquisitors
On December 8, Meadows, a 62-year-old former North Carolina congressman, filed a lawsuit against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and the House committee investigating the day’s events. He had been summoned to speak to the committee that morning, but didn’t attend. His suit argues the committee doesn’t have the authority to issue the subpoenas it’s hit him with, or to obtain his phone records from a third party.
Last week, the committee reported that they’d reached an agreement with Meadows for him to appear on Wednesday, but on Tuesday his attorney said he’d changed his mind. Committee Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) warned that if he didn’t appear, the committee would open contempt proceedings against him, but Meadows didn’t back down.
Meadows says he believed the committee was acting in good faith until last weekend, when he learned it had hit Verizon with a subpoena for his phone records. The company warned him that they would comply by December 15, unless Meadows could get a court order blocking the move – which he’s now trying to do.
Who Holds the Power?
The central issue in this case is executive privilege and the committee’s efforts to overturn it. Meadows – and former President Donald Trump – argue that communications between senior Trump administration officials are protected from disclosure by executive privilege. The committee says they’re not, and has handed itself the right to probe people’s private lives and demand their records. Trump has already filed a suit with the DC Circuit Court of Appeals in an attempt to block the National Archives from handing over records to the administration; now Meadows is joining the campaign.
A key argument in Meadows’ lawsuit is that the House committee isn’t a legitimate legislative body, and so has no authority to issue subpoenas. Now, he wants a court to decide the issue once and for all: Can a group of lawmakers set up a committee and act like a court, or are they exceeding their authority and violating Meadows’ rights?
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