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Meadows’s Delay to Comply With Jan. 6 Subpoena May Lead to Contempt Charges

“Anyone who tries to stonewall our effort will face the consequences,” an anonymous source on the commission said.

Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows departs the U.S. Capitol following the first day of the second impeachment trial of former U.S. President Donald Trump on February 9, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Members of the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol building are growing weary with Mark Meadows, a former Trump aide who has delayed sending key documents and submitting testimony.

Meadows, who served as Trump’s chief of staff during the Capitol attack, was first subpoenaed by the January 6 commission in late September. Since that time, the commission has noted that he’s been “engaging” with them, negotiating the terms of his transferring documents relevant to their inquiry, as well as the details of how he will testify behind closed doors.

Because Meadows was seemingly working with the commission, the select committee granted him an indefinite postponement of the deadline they had originally stipulated in their subpoena order. But his continued delays are starting to irk some members of the commission.

“Our patience isn’t unlimited, and engagement needs to become cooperation very soon,” one source within the commission said to CNN regarding Meadows’s delays.

The commission is prepared to take the necessary steps to compel Meadows to speed up the process, the source added, alluding to Steve Bannon’s contempt of Congress vote in the House last week. Bannon, citing dubious claims of executive privilege, has refused to testify to the commission or hand over relevant documents.

“As we’ve already made clear, anyone who tries to stonewall our effort will face the consequences,” the source said.

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Mississippi), co-chair of the select committee, told CNN that the commission hasn’t yet reached the point where Meadows will be threatened with contempt charges if he doesn’t cooperate. But the possibility is not off the table, either.

“If and when the [select committee] staff says to us it’s not going anywhere, there won’t be any hesitation on the part of the committee to make the referrals,” Thompson said.

As Trump’s chief of staff on the day of the Capitol attack, Meadows has a breadth of information regarding the former president’s state of mind that day, and how he reacted to the breach of the building.

In the subpoena order to Meadows, the commission wrote that his involvement in “multiple elements of the planning and preparation of efforts to contest the presidential election and delay the counting of electoral votes,” as well as his communication with protest organizers that day, is critical to their investigative work.

New reporting from Rolling Stone also indicates that Meadows was warned the protest could turn violent, but that he did nothing about these warnings, failing to form a contingency plan or to prepare in any way. The commission will likely want to discuss that matter with Meadows as well.

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