Meadows suing Pelosi, Jan. 6 committee


Former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows is suing Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol as he faces a likely contempt referral for refusing to cooperate with the panel.

In a civil complaint filed Wednesday afternoon, Meadows's lawyers said that the select committee does not have the authority to issue the subpoenas directed at him and that President Biden's refusal to assert executive privilege opens constitutional questions that should be decided through legal action.

"As a result, Mr. Meadows, a witness, has been put in the untenable position of choosing between conflicting privilege claims that are of constitutional origin and dimension and having to either risk enforcement of the subpoena issued to him, not merely by the House of Representatives, but through actions by the Executive and Judicial Branches,  or, alternatively, unilaterally abandoning the former president’s claims of privileges and immunities," the complaint reads. "Thus, Mr. Meadows turns to the courts to say what the law is."

Spokespeople for Pelosi and the select committee did not immediately respond when asked for comment.

Meadows's attorney said on Tuesday that his client would not be appearing for an interview that was scheduled for Wednesday, reversing after a tentative agreement was announced last week for Trump's top White House aide to provide records and testimony to the panel.

The select committee's chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), said on Tuesday that the panel would vote in favor of holding his former House colleague in contempt if he didn't appear for the interview.

"If indeed Mr. Meadows refuses to appear, the Select Committee will be left no choice but to advance contempt proceedings and recommend that the body in which Mr. Meadows once served refer him for criminal prosecution," Thompson said in a joint statement Tuesday with the committee's vice chairwoman, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.).

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