(PresidentialInsider.com)- Earlier this week, headlines exploded with details of text messages sent to Mark Meadows, the former chief of staff for the White House, regarding the January 6 attacks at the Capitol building.
On Monday, Meadows said members of the House’s January 6 investigating committee “selectively leaked” the messages that Meadows provided to them. He has accused those representatives of trying to spin false narratives while also attacking former President Donald Trump.
Meadows commented on the “Rob Schmitt Tonight” program on Newsmax:
“We’ve tried very hard, in [a] very transparent and accommodating way, to share non-privileged information. And what we found out tonight is that not only did that just get disregarded, but then they tried to weaponize text messages, selectively leaked them, to put out a narrative, quite frankly, that the president didn’t act.
“And I can tell you this: The president did act.”
Meadows at first agreed to comply with the House committee’s subpoena. He and his legal team even voluntarily provided the panel with troves of documents they had requested.
But, then, last week, he changed his mind, saying that the committee didn’t have the best intentions in their investigation. Since then, the committee unanimously voted to hold Meadows in contempt of Congress for not complying with the subpoena.
On Tuesday night, the full membership of the House of Representatives voted 228-208 to send a recommendation to the Department of Justice to charge Meadows with criminal contempt of Congress. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger were the only Republicans who voted in favor of doing so.
The DOJ will have the final say on whether to formally charge Meadows.
Meadows’ justification for not complying any longer was that if he did work with the panel, he’d be violating the assertion of executive privilege that Trump has claimed. As he explained:
“We tried to help and accommodate. The attorneys I had working with me worked on nonprivileged information. We said all along we were going to protect the president’s executive privilege. We continue to do so. We will continue to do that.
“We think that it’s a decision that the courts need to weigh in on. Obviously, Congress thinks that I should waive the executive privilege. It’s not mine to waive, and so we’re going to honor President Trump’s executive privilege claim until the courts tell us differently.”
Some of the texts sent to Meadows that were leaked this week include ones from Donald Trump Jr. Cheney, one of only two Republicans on the committee, reported what one text conversation between Meadows and Trump Jr. included.
She said Trump Jr. wrote to Meadows about his father as the January 6 attacks were going on:
“He’s got to condemn this s**t ASAP; the Capitol Police tweet is not enough.”
Meadows then replied:
“I’m pushing it hard, I agree.”
Trump Jr. sent subsequent texts to Meadows that read:
“We need an Oval Office address. He has to lead now. It has gone too far and gotten out of hand.”