US House Majority Votes to Hold Ex-Trump Chief of Staff Meadows in Contempt of Congress
04:10 GMT 15.12.2021 (Updated: 04:51 GMT 15.12.2021)
Meadows previously refused to comply with a subpoena, issued by the January 6th Committee, citing "executive privilege".
The US House of Representatives has passed a resolution to hold former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in criminal contempt of Congress for failing to fully cooperate with the committee investigating the 6 January Capitol protests.
The House passed the measure on Tuesday in a 222-208 vote, paving the way for the Department of Justice to prosecute former Trump's chief of staff for failing to testify before the House panel. Only two Republicans backed the motion - Adam Kinzinger (Illinois) and Liz Cheney (Wyoming).
"We've given Mark Meadows every opportunity to cooperate. He's brought this situation on himself", the House January 6th Select Committee stated ahead of the vote.
The matter will now be referred to the Department of Justice for prosecution. Contempt of Congress charges can result in a penalty of up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.
Meadows is the third member of the Trump team to be found in contempt by the January 6th Committee, after Jeffrey Clark and Steven Bannon.
© AP Photo / Jose Luis MaganaIn this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo insurrections loyal to President Donald Trump rally at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. U.S.
In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo insurrections loyal to President Donald Trump rally at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. U.S.
© AP Photo / Jose Luis Magana
The ex-Trump chief of staff initially worked with the lawmakers, as they investigated the January protests. Yet, earlier this week Meadows refused to go into details pointing to "executive privilege" which protects conversations between president and aides during their time in office, to keep sensitive information secret.
In the meantime, the panel also presented text message exchanges between Meadows and US representative Liz Cheney that occurred amid the violent clashes on Capitol Hill. According to her, "these text messages leave no doubt. The White House knew exactly what was happening here at the Capitol".
Cheney also said that the messages prove "supreme dereliction of duty" by Trump, as he didn't take any action to stop the rioters from storming the Capitol.