The House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection will make a decision “this week” on whether it will refer Mark Meadows for criminal contempt charges for defying a subpoena before the Thanksgiving recess, California Rep. Adam Schiff, a member of the panel, said Sunday.
“I think we will probably make a decision this week on our course of conduct with that particular witness and maybe others,” Schiff told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union.” “I can’t go into … what communications that we’re having or haven’t had with particular witnesses, but we are moving with alacrity with anyone who obstructs the committee, and that was certainly the case with Mr. Bannon. It will be the case with Mr. Meadows, and Mr. Clark or any others.”
The looming decision by the committee comes amid attempts to try to get Meadows — the former White House chief of staff for former President Donald Trump, who defied his subpoena from the panel and did not show up for a deposition — to comply with the panel’s request as it seeks more information about the events at the US Capitol on January 6.
The committee has already referred criminal contempt charges for former Donald Trump ally Steve Bannon and last week issued new subpoenas to five allies of the former President, including Roger Stone and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark earlier this month stonewalled the House select committee, responding to a subpoena demanding he appear for an interview with the panel, but not answering questions posed to him, sources familiar with his appearance told CNN at the time.
Schiff also told Bash one of the main questions the committee is looking into is Trump’s involvement.
“And I can’t go into the evidence that we have gathered, but I will say this, I think among the most important questions that we’re investigating is the complete role of the former president,” the Democrat said.
Meadows, who was still serving in the White House when the riots at the US Capitol took place, has a potentially plausible case to be made for executive privilege. CNN previously reported that two committee members indicated there are several lines of inquiry that would not be covered by executive privilege regarding Meadows.
Rep. Pete Aguilar, a Democrat who is also a member of the committee, told CNN earlier this month that Meadows may have a “minor claim” to executive privilege over some conversations but stressed the committee has questions for him that “have nothing to do with the conversations he had directly with the President.”
Aguilar told CNN’s Jim Acosta on Saturday that Meadows still has a “small window in which he can still comply here … But if he doesn’t comply, the committee has made very clear just as we did with Steve Bannon that we’re willing to use whatever means necessary.”
Earlier this month, the White House indicated that concessions do not need to be made for Meadows, notifying him that President Joe Biden will not assert executive privilege or immunity for him on matters related to the probe.
Schiff also suggested Sunday he would like for the Department of Justice to be more aggressive in investigating Trump’s efforts to overturn the election in certain states, such as Georgia.
“I am concerned that there does not appear to be an investigation, unless it’s being done very quietly by the Justice Department, of for example the former president on the phone with the Georgia Secretary of State, asking him to find, really demanding he find 11,780 votes that don’t exist,” he told Bash.
This story has been updated with additional information.