Mark Meadows Sues Pelosi, Jan. 6 Committee Members as Contempt Case Proceeds

By Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen
Reporter
Isabel van Brugen is an award-winning journalist and currently a news reporter at The Epoch Times. She holds a master's in newspaper journalism from City, University of London.
December 8, 2021 Updated: December 9, 2021

Former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows on Wednesday sued the House of Representatives panel investigating the Jan. 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

The lawsuit, filed in a Washington D.C. federal court, follows a move to hold him in contempt after he said he would not appear for a deposition at the request of the Jan. 6 select committee.

Hours earlier, Committee Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said in a letter to Meadows’ attorney, George Terwilliger, that the House 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.”

Meadows’ lawsuit asks a judge to invalidate two subpoenas that he says are “overly broad and unduly burdensome.” It accuses the committee of overreaching by issuing a subpoena to Verizon for his cell phone records.

“Allowing an entirely partisan select committee of Congress to subpoena the personal cell phone data of executive officials would work a massive chilling of current and future Executive Branch officials’ associational and free speech rights,” the lawsuit states.

Meadows could become the third person to face criminal contempt for refusing to cooperate with the House of Representatives panel that’s investigating the Jan. 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol.

Steve Bannon, a former Trump adviser, was charged with contempt of Congress after refusing to cooperate with the panel. The panel has also said it is considering similar action against former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark.

Meanwhile, in a letter dated Dec. 6, the attorney for veteran political operative Roger Stone said his client won’t cooperate with the panel and will invoke his Fifth Amendment right to not testify.

Stone’s attorney, Grant Smith, said that he won’t hand over documents to the committee, and he wouldn’t appear for a deposition, calling the panel’s “demand” for documents “overreaching” and “far too wide-ranging to be deemed anything other than a fishing expedition.”

Prior to the panel’s threat to hold Meadows in contempt, Meadows had planned to appear voluntarily to answer questions about non-privileged matters, his attorney said in a letter.

But he took offense to the panel issuing subpoenas for information from third parties, as well as to Thompson’s recent assertion that someone invoking their Fifth Amendment rights was tantamount to an admission of guilt.

“As a result of careful and deliberate consideration of these factors, we now must decline the opportunity to appear voluntarily for a deposition,” Terwilliger wrote.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen is an award-winning journalist and currently a news reporter at The Epoch Times. She holds a master's in newspaper journalism from City, University of London.