Mark Meadows, one-time chief of staff to former President Donald Trump, has filed a lawsuit against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and members of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, claiming he cannot provide information due to executive privilege.
In the lawsuit, filed Wednesday in U.S. district court for the District of Columbia, Meadows alleges that subpoenas from the Jan. 6 committee asking him for information related to the insurrection were “overly broad and unduly burdensome” and “threaten[ed] to violate longstanding principles of executive privilege.”
On Tuesday, the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol threatened Meadows with criminal charges of contempt of Congress for refusing to cooperate with their inquiry.
Committee members slammed Meadows for refusing to appear at a planned deposition Wednesday, saying the former chief of staff had stopped providing them with information, yet appeared willing to “provide details about the facts and circumstances surrounding the January 6th attack, including conversations with President Trump, in the book he is now promoting and selling.”
(Meadows’ upcoming book has already made headlines — including that Trump tested positive for COVID-19 just days before a debate with then-candidate Joe Biden.)
As of late November, Meadows was cooperating with the committee, but stopped doing so earlier this week.
In response to the lawsuit, the Jan. 6 committee tweeted on Wednesday that this legal action “won’t succeed at slowing down” the investigation. It will meet next week “to advance a report recommending that the House cite Meadows for contempt and refer him for prosecution.”
President Biden has repeatedly refused Trump’s requests to assert executive privilege to cover up his role in the insurrection.
Last month, a federal judge also denied Trump’s attempt to block the release of documents from his presidency to the House select committee investigating the attack.