Schiff hints that Jan. 6 committee might make 'decision' on holding Mark Meadows in contempt this week

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A key Democratic panel member on the House Jan. 6 select committee hinted that they “will probably make a decision” this week on whether they will hold former Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in contempt of Congress.

“I think we will probably make a decision this week on our course of conduct with that particular witness and maybe others,” Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday.

“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,” he continued. “It will be the case with Mr. Meadows and Mr. Clark or any others.”

Representative Adam Schiff, a Democrat from California, listens during a business meeting of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021. The committee probing the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol is escalating its legal showdown with Steve Bannon with a vote recommending the full House hold him in criminal contempt for ignoring a congressional subpoena. Photographer: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Earlier this month, Meadows’ attorney George Terwilliger said Meadows would not comply with a subpoena from the committee, saying he wanted to protect Trump’s executive privilege.

WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 01: U.S. President Donald Trump confers with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows while departing the White House September 1, 2020 in Washington, DC. Trump is scheduled to travel today to Kenosha, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

“Our correspondence over the last few weeks shows a sharp legal dispute with the committee. The issues concern whether Mr. Meadows can be compelled to testify and whether, even if he could , that he could be forced to answer questions that involve privileged communications,” Terwilliger said in a statement. “Legal disputes are appropriately resolved by courts,” he continued. “It would be irresponsible for Mr. Meadows to prematurely resolve that dispute by voluntarily waiving privileges that are at the heart of those legal issues.”

The statement from Meadows’ attorney was in response to the Jan. 6 committee setting a deadline a couple of weeks ago for Meadows to comply with a subpoena with the committee.

“The Select Committee will view Meadows’s failure to appear at the deposition, and to produce responsive documents or a privilege log indicating the specific basis for withholding any documents you believe to be protected by privilege, as willful non-compliance,” Committee Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said in response.

Former President Donald Trump speaks at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., Wednesday, July 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Allies of Trump have decried the committee’s investigation as a political witch hunt, noting that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi refused to seat Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s choices on the committee. The two Republicans who were accepted on the committee by Democrats have voiced their opposition to Trump. 

During the CNN interview, Schiff also claimed that the committee was looking into Trump’s involvement with the Jan. 6 attack, saying he could not go into details, but that “the most important questions that we’re investigating is the complete role of the former president.”

Fox News’ Tyler Olson and Lillian LeCroy contributed to this report.

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