The select committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riot recommended on Monday that the House hold former President Donald Trump’s White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, in contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena, CNBC reported.
The select panel also shared a series of anxious text messages that Meadows had received on January 6, the day of the riots, including from Fox News hosts and Trump’s own son, urging him to get the president to do something to stop the invasion.
“He’s got to condemn this s--- ASAP,” Donald Trump Jr. texted Meadows at one point, select committee vice chair Liz Cheney (R-WY) revealed.
Meadows is one of four Trump allies who were subpoenaed by the committee in September but has refused to cooperate. Last month, the committee threatened Meadows with a criminal contempt referral, and on Wednesday signaled it would pursue a criminal contempt referral.
He then sued the select committee, 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.
The nine-member panel voted unanimously on Monday in support of a 51-page report that includes a resolution recommending that the House find Meadows in contempt for defying a subpoena for documents and testimony.
Meadows had handed over thousands of records, the committee said, before reversing course and refusing to cooperate.
The records produced by Meadows leave “no doubt” that the White House knew about the violent riot that was taking place at the Capitol as the chaos unfolded, Cheney said in the meeting.
She and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) read out a series of panicked messages that pro-Trump Fox News hosts, congressional lawmakers and others had sent Meadows during the riot, according to CNBC.
“Mark, the president needs to tell people in the Capitol to go home. This is hurting all of us. He is destroying his legacy,” Cheney said, quoting a text from Fox host Laura Ingraham.
“Please get him on TV. Destroying everything you have accomplished,” texted Brian Kilmeade of “Fox & Friends,” according to Cheney.
“Can he make a statement? Ask people to leave the Capitol,” urged Sean Hannity, Cheney said.
Donald Trump Jr., the former president’s oldest son, texted Meadows “again and again,” Cheney said.
“We need an Oval Office address,” Trump Jr. wrote in one message, according to Cheney. “He’s got to condemn this s--- ASAP. The Capitol Police tweet is not enough,” he wrote in another, Cheney said.
“I’m pushing it hard. I agree,” Meadows responded, according to Cheney.
The House has already voted to hold former White House senior advisor Steve Bannon in contempt for his own noncompliance with a subpoena issued by the January 6 panel. A federal grand jury subsequently charged Bannon with two counts of contempt of Congress.