U.S. House of Representatives Votes to Hold Mark Meadows in Contempt of Congress

The 222-208 vote follows the Jan. 6 committee's recommendation to hold the former chief of staff in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify to investigators

Mark Meadows
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. Photo: Patrick Semansky/AP/Shutterstock

The U.S. House of Representatives has voted to hold Mark Meadows in contempt of Congress.

In a 222-208 vote on Tuesday, the House voted to adopt a recommendation from the select committee investigating the Capitol insurrection that suggested Meadows be held in contempt for refusing to testify to investigators.

It is now up to the U.S. Justice Department to decide whether it will pursue charges against Donald Trump's former chief of staff.

The vote comes one day after the Jan. 6 committee voted unanimously to suggest that the House of Representatives hold Meadows in contempt of Congress for refusing to appear for a deposition regarding the violent attack on the Capitol earlier this year.

During a briefing on Monday where the recommendation was announced, Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming read aloud several text conversations in which lawmakers, administration officials, and multiple Fox News personalities begged Meadows to encourage Trump to take stronger action against the rioters.

One of those who urged Meadows to level with the former president about the attack was the former president's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr.

Donald Trump, left, his chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg, center, and his son Donald Trump Jr.
From left: Donald Trump, Allen Weisselberg and Donald Trump Jr. Evan Vucci/AP/Shutterstock

"He's got to condemn this s--- ASAP. The Capitol Police tweet is not enough," a text sent by Trump Jr. to Meadows read, according to Cheney. (Trump Jr. is likely referring to a tweet from Trump on the afternoon of the insurrection that asked rioters to "remain peaceful" and "please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement.")

Meadows responded to Trump Jr., writing: "I'm pushing it hard. I agree," Cheney revealed.

In a series of follow-up texts, Trump Jr. continued: "We need an Oval Office address. He has to lead now. It has gone too far and gotten out of hand."

Others who texted Meadows during the riots included Fox News hosts Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity.

Meadows is one of several former Trump administration officials who is facing a subpoena from the Jan. 6 committee. Others include former senior advisers to the president Stephen Miller and Jason Miller, former White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, manager of the Trump 2020 reelection campaign Bill Stepien and former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.

Trump is also among those compelled to bring forward relevant documents, after a judge denied the former president's request to block the committee from seeing records related to the planning, execution and response to events on Jan. 6.

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Trump sued the Jan. 6 committee and the National Archives in October, citing executive privilege and claiming that a demand for records was "nothing less than a vexatious, illegal fishing expedition openly endorsed by Biden and designed to unconstitutionally investigate President Trump and his administration."

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However, in a ruling last month, the judge asserted that a current president has the right to ignore a former president's assertion of executive privilege, which Joe Biden did in October by instructing the National Archives to turn over documents related to the investigation.

The former president "does not acknowledge the deference owed to the incumbent President's judgement. His position that he may override the express will of the executive branch appears to be premised on the notion that his executive power 'exists in perpetuity,' " U.S. District Court Judge Tanya S. Chutkan said in the ruling. "But Presidents are not kings, and Plaintiff is not President. He retains the right to assert that his records are privileged, but the incumbent President 'is not constitutionally obliged to honor' that assertion."

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