On Monday, the House committee investigating the attack on the Capitol last January voted to hold former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows in criminal contempt for defying a subpoena. It was a decisive move and another step closer to nailing Trump for his provocations of the insurrection. 

The nine members of the committee—seven Democrats and two Republicans—unanimously supported the resolution that next faces a vote from the full House.

At the onset of the charges against Meadows, he had agreed to cooperate but then changed his mind, claiming he was being pressured to discuss issues Trump had said were protected by executive privilege. Some of the evidence presented to the committee was from Trump allies urging him to stop the rioters. 

His change came after he had already provided a number of documents to the committee about messages related to the insurrection, one urged on Trump with an aim to disrupt a vote that would have confirmed Biden’s victory. 

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and chair of the committee said, referring to Meadows, “History will not look upon you as a victim. History will not dwell on your long list of privilege claims or your legal sleight of hand. History will record that in a critical moment in our democracy, most people were on the side of the truth, of providing accountability, of strengthening our system for future generations. And history will also record in this critical moment that some people were not.”     

Schiff and Rep. Liz Cheney also read aloud a series of panicked text messages that members of Congress, prominent Fox News hosts, and even Trump’s own son, Donald Trump Jr., sent to Meadows pleading with him to do something to stop the violent siege on the Capitol and convince former President Donald Trump to make a statement condemning the riots. 

“What did the president of the United States do, and what did he fail to do? Mr. Meadows doesn’t think he should have to answer those questions. He thinks the American people should be left in the dark,” Schiff said. 

Schiff then read aloud the January 7 message from an unnamed member of Congress that said: “Yesterday was a terrible day. We tried everything we could in our objection to the 6 states. I’m sorry nothing worked.”

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