Former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows has sued Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA) and all lawmakers on the January 6 House Committee on Wednesday, saying it is unconstitutionally taking away executive branch authority.
The lawsuit, issued in D.C. court, came after the chairman, Democratic Congresswoman Bennie Thompson (GA), reported to Meadows’s lawyer earlier this Wednesday that the committee would aim for contempt charges against Meadows.
Letter from Bennie Thompson to Mark Meadows’ attorney concludes:
“The 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” pic.twitter.com/ahiwtgTaub
— Alayna Treene (@alaynatreene) December 8, 2021
That came after Meadows’s lawyer wrote on Tuesday to the committee to say that Meadows couldn’t cooperate with the committee since it was trying to subpoena his phone records from his cell company, Verizon.
The lawsuit claims that the committee demanded that Meadows break executive privilege and the U.S. Constitution, and asks his cell company to break the law:
“The Select Committee works absent any true legislative power and threatens to break longstanding principles of federal privilege and immunity that are of a constitutional source. Without any intervention by the Court, Mr. Meadows faces being illegally coerced into breaking the Constitution and having a third party involuntarily break Mr. Meadows rights and the requirements of some laws governing records of electronic data.”
Meadows’s new lawsuit also explains that he wanted to comply with the January 6th committee, but that it requested materials he thought he did not have the ability to give under the Constitution:
“Mr. Meadows was put in an untenable position of selecting between conflicting claims that are of a constitutional source and having to risk the subpoena enforcement or abandoning the former president’s claims of immunities. Thus, Mr. Meadows asks for the courts to say what the laws are.”
The lawsuit says that the committee is illegitimate by its own comments: the House resolution creating the committee gives that “The Speaker shall name 13 Members to the new Select Committee, 5 of which shall be named after consultation with the current minority leader.” Moreover, the resolution says that subpoenas “will” only be given in consultation with the committee’s top minority member, and there is no current ranking minority member.
Author: Blake Ambrose