US lawmakers threaten Trump ally with criminal contempt

Committee probing Capitol violence threatens Trump's chief of staff with criminal contempt referral unless he appears before the panel.

Ben Ariel ,

Mark Meadows
Mark Meadows
Reuters

The US congressional committee probing January 6 riots on the Capitol on Thursday threatened former President Donald Trump's White House chief of staff with a criminal contempt referral, if he does not appear before the panel and hand over required documents by Friday morning, Reuters reported.

If former chief of staff Mark Meadows does not produce the documents and appear for testimony at 10:00 a.m. EST, the House of Representatives Select Committee will view his actions as willful non-compliance, the panel's Democratic chairman, Representative Bennie Thompson, said in a letter to Meadows' attorney.

Meadows is one of four Trump allies who were subpoenaed by the committee in September. Other Trump allies who received a subpoena at the time are his former aide Steve Bannon, former deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino and Kash Patel, a former chief of staff to then-acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller who had also served as an aide to Republican Rep. Devin Nunes.

In late October, the House of Representatives voted to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress for defying the subpoena.

The committee said wanted Meadows to testify and hand over documents by mid-October. The two sides had been negotiating since, according to Reuters.

Thompson said Meadows has not produced even a single document. "Although you previously indicated that your firm was searching records that Mr. Meadows provided to you, more than enough time has passed for you to complete your review," the letter to Meadows' attorney George Terwilliger said.

Thompson said willful noncompliance with its subpoena could result in a referral from the House to the Department of Justice for criminal contempt charges, as well as the possibility of having a civil action to enforce the subpoena brought against Meadows.

Terwilliger did not immediately respond to a request for comment. He had issued a statement earlier on Thursday suggesting Meadows would not cooperate with the committee until all legal disputes were resolved.



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