The House select committee that is investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot is likely to decide this week whether to refer former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows for criminal contempt charges for his failure to appear before the panel, Rep. Adam Schiff said on Sunday. “I think we will probably make a decision this week on our course of conduct with that particular witness and maybe others,” Schiff said on CNN’s State of the Union. “I can’t go into … what communications that we’re having or haven’t had with particular witnesses, but we are moving with alacrity with anyone who obstructs the committee” and that includes Meadows.
Meadows, like several other allies of former President Donald Trump, has refused to cooperate with the House investigation. As Trump’s chief of staff, Meadows is believed to have particular insight into the then-president’s thinking regarding efforts to stop the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory. But he has defied his subpoena from the committee and didn’t show up for a scheduled deposition.
The committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot has already referred criminal contempt charges for former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, who was taken into custody earlier this month after he defied a subpoena. Unlike Bannon, some say that Meadows may be able to argue a case that he’s protected by executive privilege because he was still serving in the White House when the riots took place. Investigators are hoping that the harsh action against Bannon will push other Trump allies to testify.
Schiff also expressed concern that it doesn’t look like the Department of Justice is really pursuing an investigation into Trump’s efforts to overturn the election in certain states, such as Georgia. “I am concerned that there does not appear to be an investigation, unless it’s being done very quietly by the Justice Department, of for example the former president on the phone with the Georgia Secretary of State, asking him to find, really demanding he find 11,780 votes that don’t exist,” Schiff said.