The US House committee probing the Jan. 6 Capitol riot threatened former Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows with a contempt charge unless he testified Friday morning.
“Simply put, there is no valid legal basis for Mr. Meadows’s continued resistance to the Select Committee’s subpoena,” the committee wrote to George Terwilliger, an attorney for Meadows late Thursday.
Not showing up would be considered “willful non-compliance,” the letter said, which could lead to a recommendation of a Contempt of Congress charge as well as a civil action to enforce compliance with the subpoena.
The House of Representatives has already referred former Trump aide Steve Bannon for possible prosecution for contempt.
The select committee’s demand late Thursday comes amid a legal fight over the limits of executive privilege that is expected to go all the way to the Supreme Court.
An appeals court temporarily halted a lower court’s order that would have allowed the released documents from former President Donald Trump’s administration that were subpoenaed as part of the select committee investigation.
President Joe Biden has waived the privilege on many records sought in the probe but Trump sued to keep the records hidden.
The White House said Thursday that Biden would waive any privilege blocking Meadows’ cooperation with the committee. Meadows’ attorney issued a statement in response saying his client was under instruction of Trump to respect the “longstanding principles of executive privilege.”
“It now appears the courts will have to resolve this conflict,” Terwilliger said, according to the Associated Press.
The committee has subpoenaed more than 30 Trump staffers and others in his orbit. The Democrat-run group is investigating the deadly Jan. 6 siege on the Capitol that disrupted the certification of Biden’s 2020 election victory over Trump.
With Post wires