Last month, US President Joe Biden claimed Mark Meadows was “worthy” of being held in contempt of Congress after the former White House chief of staff refused to testify before the House Select Committee probing the 6 January 2021 Capitol riot.
Ex-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has asked the Supreme Court to quickly decide on former US President Donald Trump’s lawsuit against the House 6 January Committee that is seeking documents from the ex-POTUS and his allies regarding last year’s Capitol riot.
In an amicus brief on Friday, Meadows’ lawyer George J. Terwilliger III wrote the former White House chief of staff “and others like him therefore face the difficult choice between volunteering potentially privileged information in defiance of the president under whom they served or to resist a congressional subpoena at great personal expense and with the threat of potential prosecution”.
Terwilliger argued that “a prompt answer [by the Supreme Court] is important because, however the court rules, its ruling will guide the parties in all of the related disputes”, including Meadows, who previously pushed back against subpoenas from the House Select Committee.
The lawyer also wrote that should the Supreme Court find that Trump “has a valid claim of privilege which President Biden cannot waive, or that the Select Committee is not pursuing a valid legislative purpose, then the Select Committee would need to narrow its investigation (or at least go back to the drawing board) in a way that might moot much of the pending litigation”.
In December, the House voted to refer Meadows to the Justice Department for a potential contempt of Congress charge over his refusal to answer questions about the Capitol riot.
6 January Panel Wants Supreme Court to Scrap Trump Privilege Claim
In a separate development last month, the House Select Committee urged the Supreme Court to let stand a previous appeals court ruling that authorises the National Archives to turn over documents pertaining to Trump.
This came after the 45th president asked the Supreme Court to block the House Select Committee from obtaining the documents, citing executive privilege, the power of the US president to withhold certain forms of confidential communication from the courts.
Trump’s call was preceded by media reports that the 6 January panel had agreed to defer its attempt to get some Trump-related documents at the request of the Biden administration.
In a letter to the House panel dated 16 December, White House deputy counsel Jonathan Su wrote that “the documents for which the Select Committee has agreed to withdraw or defer its request do not appear to bear on the White House’s preparations for or response to the events of 6 January, or on efforts to overturn the election or otherwise obstruct the peaceful transfer of power”.
Also in December, CNN reported that the 6 January panel plans to release an interim report containing its initial findings by this summer, while a final report is scheduled for the autumn of 2022. Since the creation of the committee in July 2021, hundreds of witnesses, including Trump aides, have given testimonies during the panel’s closed-door gatherings.
The 45th president has repeatedly dismissed the panel’s probe into the events of 6 January 2021 as a political sideshow and continuation of a “witch hunt” against him by Democrats and so-called “RINO” (Republican in Name Only) lawmakers.