House Charges Mark Meadows

Matthew G. Saroff
3 min readDec 16, 2021

I rather expect that Merrick Garland will slow walk the whole thing, but the House voted to refer former Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to the Department of Justice for Criminal Contempt of Congress by a vote of 222 to 208.

It’s pretty clear that he did it, but unlike Steve Bannon, he was clearly an official member of the administration, so there are some Constitutional issues.

As an aside, Congress needs to pass a law to allow them to conduct private prosecutions for Contempt of Congress, and not have to rely on an increasingly politicized Department of Justice to enforce its own subpoenas:

The US House of Representatives has approved a measure recommending criminal contempt charges against Mark Meadows, the former chief of staff to Donald Trump, a week after he ended his cooperation with the chamber’s committee investigating the Capitol insurrection.

The approval marks the first time the House has voted to hold a former member [of Congress] in contempt since the 1830s, according to the chamber’s records.

It is the latest show of force by the 6 January panel, which is leaving no angle unexplored as it investigates the worst attack on the Capitol in more than 200 years. Lawmakers are determined to get answers quickly, and in so doing reassert the congressional authority that Trump eroded while in office.

“History will be written about these times, about the work this committee has undertaken,” said Bennie Thompson, the committee’s chairman.

Meadows, a former North Carolina congressman, left in March 2020 to join Trump’s administration. Before he left Congress, Meadows “continually insisted that people and high-ranking government officials respect the authority of Congress to do its job, and investigative powers are implicit in and intertwined with our powers to legislate this”, said Jamie Raskin, a member of the committee.

Raskin began Tuesday’s debate by reading from newly released, frantic texts from the day of the attack revealing members of Congress, Fox News anchors and even Trump’s son urging Meadows to persuade the outgoing president to act quickly to stop the three-hour assault by his supporters.

I don’t expect much to come of this, what with Garland afraid of his own shadow, and the investigation proceeding slowly enough that it won’t be done with its investigation before the Democrats lose control of the Congress in 2022.

Lucy and the Football, again.