Former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows on Wednesday sued a House commission investigating the January 6 violation of the powers of the US Capitol and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California.
The lawsuit, filed in a federal court in Washington, D.C., follows an attempt to convict him after he said he would not appear to testify at the request of the selection committee on January 6.
Hours earlier, committee chairman Benny Thompson (D-Miss) had said in a letter to Meadows’ attorney George Terwilinger that the House committee “has no choice but to initiate a contempt trial and recommend the body in which Mr Meadows once sent him for criminal prosecution. “
In Meadows’s lawsuit, the judge asks to invalidate two subpoenas, which he says are “overly broad and overly burdensome.” He accuses the committee of overkill by subpoenaing Verizon for his cell phone records.
“Allowing a fully biased elected committee of Congress to sue the personal cell phones of executive officials would result in massive restrictions on the freedom of association and freedom of expression of current and future executive officials,” the lawsuit said.
Meadows could become a third party to face criminal contempt for refusing to cooperate with a House commission that investigates the January 6 violation of the US Capitol.
Steve Bannon, a former Trump adviser, was accused of contempt of Congress after refusing to cooperate with the commission. The group also said it is considering similar action against former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clarke.
Meanwhile, in a December 6 letter, lawyer for veteran politician Roger Stone said his client would not cooperate with the commission and would use his Fifth Amendment right to not testify.
Stone’s attorney, Grant Smith, said he would not turn over documents to the committee and would not appear to testify, calling the commission’s “demand” for documents “excessive” and “too broad to be considered. nothing but a fishing expedition. “
Before the commission threatened to despise Meadows, Meadows planned to appear voluntarily to answer questions on unprivileged issues, his lawyer said in a letter.
But he took offense at the commission issuing subpoenas to obtain information from third parties, as well as Thompson’s recent assertion that someone is invoking their rights under the Fifth Amendment is tantamount to a plea of guilt.
“As a result of careful and deliberate consideration of these factors, we must now give up the opportunity to appear voluntarily to testify,” Terwilliger wrote.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.