House lawmakers voted Tuesday to hold former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows in contempt of Congress as the special committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol released a second batch of text messages from allies begging Meadows to try to convince then-President Trump to stop the violent insurrection.
“It’s really bad up here on the hill,” one unidentified GOP lawmaker texted Meadows that day.
“The President needs to stop this asap,” texted another GOP lawmaker.
“Fix this now,” wrote a third Republican.
Tuesday’s vote was 222 to 208, with 2 Republicans, Reps. Liz Cheney (Wy.) and Adam Kinzinger (Ill.), crossing the aisle to join every Democrat in supporting the measure.
The House’s action refers Meadows to the Justice Department on criminal contempt charges for refusing to testify before the select committee probing the Jan. 6 attack. Meadows had provided thousands of pages of documents to investigators, then refused the panel’s request, under subpoena, to talk about them. It was that recalcitrance that prompted the contempt vote.
“It’s a two-part test in order to show compliance with our work: one is the production of documents; the second is sitting for a deposition or interview,” said Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.), a member of the Jan. 6 panel. “Mr. Meadows fulfilled one, but he did not fulfill the other.”
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