Meadows’ suit seeking to block Jan. 6 panel summons dismissed
WASHINGTON – A federal judge on Monday threw out a lawsuit by Mark Meadows, the last chief of staff for President Donald J. Trump, who sought to block two subpoenas from the House committee investigating the attack on the 6 January, including one at Verizon for Mr. Meadows’ phone and text data.
In dismissing the suit, Judge Carl J. Nichols of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia found that the committee’s subpoenas were covered by the Constitution’s speech or debate clause, which has said to protect them from civil proceedings as legislative actions.
The decision is the latest chapter in a nearly year-long legal battle between Mr. Meadows and the committee, but it is unlikely to be the last chapter that provides investigators with what they have been looking for.
Mr Meadows can appeal. (His attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.) And with the committee almost certain to shut down if Republicans win control of the House, as expected, in this week’s election next, the panel is more likely that the time is over. .
Despite his ruling, the judge said a number of issues raised by Mr. Meadows remained unsettled, including whether a former aide to a former president can be compelled to testify before Congress; whether a former president can validly assert executive privilege; and whether a sitting president can override a former president’s claim of privilege.
Mr. Meadows was heavily involved in planning efforts to subvert the results of the 2020 election, repeatedly. push the Department of Justice to investigate unfounded conspiracy theories, strategies with members of Congress and communicate with the organizers of the demonstration on January 6, 2021, which precedes the attack on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob.
Mr Prati filed suit in December against Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the committee, accusing the panel of issuing “two overly broad and overly burdensome subpoenas” for its records.
Before filing a lawsuit, Mr. Meadows turned over thousands of pages of documents to the committee, including more than 2,300 text messages which served as key evidence to start the panel’s investigation. But he refused to subpoena the committee for a deposition and withheld more than 1,000 documents that he said were covered by executive privilege.
He also opposed the committee’s subpoena to Verizon, which sought metadata from one of his phones, but not the content of any communications.
In response, the committee recommended that Mr. Meadows, a former congressman from North Carolina, be charged with contempt of Congress.
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But after the House sent a referral against Mr. Meadows to the Justice Department, the agency declined to pursue the casedoing everything, but certainly Mr. Meadows would never testify.
In a related matter, Justice Elena Kagan last week temporarily blocked a similar subpoena from the phone records committee of Kelli Ward, the chairwoman of the Arizona Republican Party.
In Ms. Ward’s case, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, refused a request to block a subpoena seeking metadata information on calls between November 2020 and January 2021.
The subpoena did not seek information about the content or location of the calls.
Ms. Ward argued that the subpoena violated her First Amendment right to freedom of association.
The investigation into efforts to subvert the 2020 presidential election has given rise to a wide range of litigation, but only a few cases have reached the Supreme Court.
In January, the Supreme Court refused a request by Mr. Trump to block the release of White House records regarding the Attack of the 6th of Januaryeffectively rejecting Mr. Trump’s request for executive privilege and clearing the way for the House committee to begin receiving the documents hours later.
Only Justice Clarence Thomas dissented as the justices upheld an appeals court ruling that the need for a full accounting of the attack outweighed Mr. Trump’s desire to maintain the confidentiality of internal House communications. White.
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