Mark Meadows doesn’t really want his cell phone Phone Record seen by the Committee of January 6!

Mark Meadows doesn't really want his cell phone Phone Record seen by the Committee of January 6!

Former Trump White House chief of Staff Mark Meadows is suing the House select committee investigating January 6 and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Meadows is asking a federal court to block enforcement of the subpoena the committee issued him as well as the subpoena it issued to Verizon for his phone records, according to the complaint filed Wednesday. Prior to Meadows’s recent decision to halt cooperation with the committee, he had turned over approximately 6,000 pages worth of documents. That includes information from his personal email account and personal cell phone that are relevant to the committee’s investigation. In one November 6, 2020, text exchange with a member of Congress, Meadows reportedly said, “I love it,” in a discussion about the possibility of appointing alternate electors in certain states, and the member acknowledged the plan would be “highly controversial.”

Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows was cooperating with the January 6 committee and its investigation into the events leading up to, during, and after the attack on the US Capitol back in the day, which was just over a week ago. Meadows is now suing the committee for not only refusing to appear for a deposition, which might result in him being charged with criminal contempt. What went wrong? For one thing, Donald Trump is said to be furious with Meadows over his new book, and it appears that the ex-chief of staff is doing everything he can to regain Trump’s favour. For another, the committee appears to have stated that they want all of Meadows’ pertinent communications, not just the records he voluntarily turned up, and Meadows would prefer that those never see the light of day for whatever reason.

Highlights

  • Meadows’s suit comes on the heels of the news that the committee will move forward with a criminal contempt referral against him for refusing to appear for a scheduled deposition. “There is no legitimate legal basis for Mr. Meadows to refuse to cooperate with the select committee and answer questions about the documents he produced, the personal devices and accounts he used, the events he wrote about in his newly released book and, among other things, his other public statements.… The select committee is left with no choice but to advance contempt proceedings and recommend that the body in which Mr. Meadows once served refer him for criminal prosecution,” committee chair Bennie Thompson wrote in a letter to Meadows’s lawyer. While the panel has not announced a date for a vote on a contempt referral, it is all but certain that it will be approved by both the committee and the House, making a formal recommendation to the Justice Department to prosecute, according to the Times. In October, the House voted to recommend charges against Steve Bannon for refusal to cooperate, and the DOJ announced his indictment in November. On Tuesday, a judge set a ridiculously far-off trial date of July 18 for Bannon, putting virtually zero pressure on him in the meantime to cooperate.

  • And while that already sounds pretty damning on its own, it seems like there could be even more not-great exchanges Meadows doesn’t want investigators to get its hands on. According to The New York Times, Meadows told the committee that, conveniently, he had already turned in the cell phone he used on January 6 to his service provider, and was therefore withholding approximately 1,000 text messages connected to the device. Per the Times, the House panel recently sent “a flurry of subpoenas to telecommunications companies seeking the data of dozens of individuals, including Mr. Meadows, prompting his lawyer to object to a request he said sought ‘intensely personal communications’ with no relevance to any legitimate investigation.” (Incidentally, the subpoenas do not actually seek the content of any communications, only the dates and times of when calls and messages took place, a committee aide told the Times.)