Updated Dec 13, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Jan. 6 panel: Meadows said Guard would "protect pro Trump people"

Mark Meadows, then-White House chief of staff, speaks to media outside of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020.
Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. Photo: Chris Kleponis/Polaris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Jan. 6 select committee investigating the Capitol riot released a report and resolution Sunday outlining its recommendation to hold former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in contempt of Congress.

Why it matters: The report alleges that Meadows sent an email Jan. 5 "to an individual about the events on January 6 and said that the National Guard would be present to 'protect pro Trump people' and that many more would be available on standby."

  • "Mr. Meadows participated in meetings and calls during which the participants reportedly discussed the need to 'fight' back against 'mounting evidence' of purported voter fraud after courts had considered and overwhelmingly rejected Trump campaign claims of voter fraud and other election irregularities," the report states.
"He participated in one such meeting in the Oval Office with Mr. Trump and Members of Congress, which he publicly tweeted about from his personal Twitter account shortly after. He participated in another such call just days before the January 6 attack with Mr. Trump, Members of Congress, attorneys for the Trump re-election campaign, and 'some 300' State and local officials to discuss the goal of overturning certain States' electoral college results on January 6, 2021."
— Excerpt from Jan 6. select committee report on Meadows allegations

The big picture: The report recommending Meadows be held in contempt of Congress comes after he failed to appear before the panel last month and his attorney announced last week that he would no longer cooperate with House investigators, citing his belief that he's protected by executive privilege.

  • Meadows also filed a lawsuit against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D) and all nine members of the select committee, calling the panel's subpoenas "overly broad and unduly burdensome."

By the numbers: Meadows is the third person to face contempt proceedings from the committee, after former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark and former White House strategist Steve Bannon — who's since been indicted and pleaded not guilty to two counts of criminal contempt.

What's next: The select committee is expected vote to recommend charges of contempt of Congress against Meadows this week, before a full House vote takes place, per AP.

  • If approved by the House, a contempt citation would be referred to the Justice Department, which would consider whether to bring criminal charges.
  • Representatives for Meadows did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment about the House panel's report.

Read the panel's report in full, via DocumentCloud:

Editor's note: This article has been updated to include the report and with further context on the House panel's investigation.

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