The panel unanimously voted in favor of holding Meadows in contempt of Congress on Monday night, and it is now up to the full House to vote on whether it will ask the Justice Department to pursue criminal charges against Trump’s former chief of staff.
“The select committee’s report referring Mr. Meadows for criminal contempt charges is clear and compelling,” Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, a Democrat from Mississippi, said on Tuesday. “As White House chief of staff, Mr. Meadows played a role in or was witness to key events leading up to and including the January 6th assault on the United States Capitol.”
Meadows issued a new statement Tuesday ahead of the full House vote saying that his client is still cooperating with the committee in some ways, but maintained he cannot be compelled to appear for questioning as he is not “licensed to waive Executive Privilege” claimed by former President Donald Trump.
Meadows “has fully cooperated as to documents in his possession that are not privileged and has sought various means to provide other information while continuing to honor the former president’s privilege claims,” his attorney George J. Terwilliger III said in a statement.
Meadows is the latest official to face the possibility of such a referral from the panel. The committee approved a criminal contempt report against Trump ally Steve Bannon in October after he refused to comply with a subpoena deadline.
The committee was ready to move forward with holding former Department of Justice official Jeffrey Clark in contempt but is giving him another chance to testify as he says he plans to plead the Fifth.
Meanwhile, the select committee continues to push forward with its investigation, interviewing more witnesses on Tuesday including former Vice President Mike Pence’s one-time national security adviser Keith Kellogg.
Last month, Kellogg became the first person in Pence’s inner circle to be subpoenaed by the committee. In its letter to Kellogg, the committee specifically expressed interest in learning more about a January 2021 meeting with Trump and White House attorney Pat Cipollone, during which Trump insisted that Pence not certify the election, and any other meetings.
The committee also stated in its letter that Kellogg was at the White House on January 6 as the attack unfolded and has “direct information” regarding Trump’s “statements about and reactions to the Capitol insurrection.”
While Kellogg served as Pence’s national security adviser, he is considered a key witness because of his proximity to Trump on January 6. The former president’s then-national security adviser Robert O’Brien was out of town that day.
The panel also spoke with Dustin Stockton, one of the organizers behind pro-Trump rallies that took place on January 5 and 6.
Before meeting with the committee, Stockton’s lawyer, Josh Nass, told reporters that his client has text messages and emails with people “very senior in the former president’s orbit” as well as with members of Congress that he would turn over to the committee Tuesday.
Those lawmakers and people close to former President Donald Trump “have good reason to be quivering in their boots today,” Nass said.
“We’re talking about all sorts of … email correspondences, text messages,” Nass said.