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Mark Meadows discussed plan to overturn election results: committee

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“I love it.”

Mark Meadows wrote in a November 6, 2020 text message to a member of Congress who proposed a “very controversial” plan to overturn election results by appointing substitute voters in certain states. The exchange was obtained by the House committee investigating the events of January 6 and described in a letter informing the former chief of staff that the committee has “no choice but to go from there.” ‘before by dismissing him for criminal contempt resulting from his refusal. bear witness.

“The select committee has no choice but to advance the contempt proceedings and recommend that the body in which Mr. Meadows once served refer him for criminal prosecution,” said President Bennie Thompson (D -Miss.) written in the letter as of December 7.

The letter includes details of some of the thousands of pages of documents Meadows had already provided to the committee before reconsidering his decision to cooperate, including text in which he said he liked the plan to keep Trump in power. Thompson also wrote that the committee had an email the next day discussing the appointment of substitute voters in a “direct and collateral attack” after the election, and that Meadows had delivered another email from the January 5 containing a 38-page PowerPoint briefing. called “Election Fraud, Foreign Interference & Options for 6 JAN” which was to go to the people “on the hill”. A separate email from the same day, Thompson wrote in the letter, spoke of the National Guard on standby.

“All of these documents raise issues that the select committee would like to question Mr. Meadows on and which you seem to agree on are not the subject of a claim of privilege,” Thompson wrote, adding that Meadows also held back. “several hundred additional documents” from his personal email and over 1,000 text messages based on privilege claims.

Meadows’ attorney, George J. Terwilliger, complained in a letter Tuesday that the committee was not honoring claims of privilege. “We now have all indications from the information provided to us last Friday – about which Mr. Meadows might expect to be questioned – that the select committee does not intend to abide by the limits on executive privilege.” , he wrote.

Thomspon said, however, that the committee has “made several attempts to identify precisely the areas of investigation” which, according to Meadows and his attorney, are subject to executive privilege. “But,” he wrote, “neither you nor Mr. Meadows have provided this information in any meaningful way.” Thompson also refuted a claim by Terwilliger that pleading the Fifth Amendment right not to self-incriminate amounts to “an admission of guilt.”

“This is not an accurate characterization of my position on the Fifth Amendment, and this interpretation of my comments is inconsistent with our discussions on the purpose of tomorrow’s deposition – that is, a procedure in which your client can assert claims of privilege with sufficient precision for further consideration, ”Thompson wrote in response.

Meadows told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Tuesday night that he intended to “honor” the former president’s questionable claim of executive privilege to prevent documents and testimony from being passed on to the committee. . In his letter to the former chief of staff, Thompson suggested that Meadows’ media interviews and the recent publication of his memoirs of his time in the White House undermine his argument for privilege and underscore his disrespect for the investigation.

“This is happening at the same time that Mr. Meadows published a book in which he discusses the January 6 attack,” Thompson wrote. “The fact that he is selling his account of the facts of that day while denying a congressional committee the opportunity to ask him questions about the attack on our Capitol marks a historic and aggressive defiance of Congress.”

Trump’s ally Steve Bannon also tried to claim executive privilege and refused to cooperate. The committee therefore referred him to the Department of Justice, recommending that he be charged with contempt of Congress. He was charged on November 12. Bannon’s trial is set for July 18.

“At this point, I hope the courts can sort it out,” Meadows told Fox News of his own situation.