Former Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows filed suit Wednesday against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and every member of the January 6 select committee in response to their attempt to hold him in criminal contempt.
“The subpoenas issued to Mark Meadows and Verizon were issued by the Select Committee as part of an unconstitutional attempt to usurp the Executive Branch’s authority to enforce the law and to expose what the Select Committee believes to be problematic actions by a political opponent,” the lawsuit reads. “Congress has no authority to issue subpoenas for these purposes.”
The former North Carolina representative told Newsmax earlier this week the committee was abusing its power.
“For months, Mr. Meadows has consistently sought in good faith to pursue an accommodation with the Select Committee whereby it could obtain relevant, non-privileged information,” the complaint states. “While the Committee and Mr. Meadows engaged over a period of time in an effort to achieve such reasonable accommodation, the Select Committee adamantly refused to recognize the immunity of present and former senior White House aides from being compelled to appear before Congress and likewise refused to recognize a former president’s claims of Executive Privilege and instructions to Mr. Meadows to maintain such privilege claims in addressing the Select Committee’s inquiries.”
The complaint continued, “The current President of the United States, through counsel, purported to waive the former president’s claims of privilege and immunity. As a result, Mr. Meadows, a witness, has been put in the untenable position of choosing between conflicting privilege claims that are of constitutional origin and dimension and having to either risk enforcement of the subpoena issued to him, not merely by the House of Representatives, but through actions by the Executive and Judicial Branches, or, alternatively, unilaterally abandoning the former president’s claims of privileges and immunities. Thus, Mr. Meadows turns to the courts to say what the law is.”
The co-chairs of the Jan. 6. panel, Reps. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) and Liz Cheney (R-WY) warned Tuesday, if Meadows does not appear before the panel Wednesday, then the “Select Committee will be left no choice but to advance contempt proceedings and recommend that the body in which Mr. Meadows once served refer him for criminal prosecution.”