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Capitol insurrection: House Committee says it plans to act fast to refer Mark Meadows on criminal contempt charges
Following the recent indictment of Trump strategist Steve Bannon by the DOJ, the House committee probing the Capitol insurrection is now focused on what to do with the former president’s former chief of staff, Mark Meadows. Rep. Adam Schiff, who serves on the committee, said that they plan on acting fast in making a criminal referral of Meadows to the DOJ.
Meadows refused to sit down for a deposition by the committee last week, citing the twice-impeached former president’s claim of executive privilege even after leaving office. US President Joe Biden has refused to invoke the claim with the White House attorneys reiterating that no privilege would be applied. Schiff said that the panel now plans to take immediate action in making a criminal referral of Meadows to the DOJ.
“I’m confident we’ll move quickly with respect to Mr. Meadows also, but we want to make sure that we have the strongest possible case to present to the Justice Department and for the Justice Department to present to a grand jury,” said Schiff.
“But when ultimately witnesses decide, as Meadows has, that they’re not even going to bother showing up, that they have that much contempt for the law, then it pretty much forces our hand, and we’ll move quickly,” added the California congressman, who also led the House impeachment efforts during Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial.
This follows the announcement by the DOJ last week that a federal grand jury has decided to charge Bannon with two counts of contempt for refusing to appear for a deposition and refusing to turn over the required documents. Each charge carries a 30 day to one-year prison sentence should Bannon be convicted. Bannon surrendered to the FBI Monday.
In recent reports, Meadows was revealed to be instrumental in the efforts by the former president and his allies to attempt to overturn the 2020 election results. Former Republican Rep. Barbara Cornstock criticized Meadows on CNN Monday for his involvement in peddling the false claim of election fraud.
Host Brianna Keilar mentioned that Meadows was sending then-vice president Mike Pence the memos penned by Trump lawyers John Eastman and Jenna Ellis detailing how he could overturn the election. Cornstock pointed out that Meadows sent the Justice Department “Italygate” conspiracy theories and noted that during her time in the DOJ, no chief of staff nor White House counsel sent such conspiracy theories to the department.
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