Jan. 6 Panel Suggests Meadows Must Comply This Week To Avoid Criminal Contempt Referral

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows speaks to the media at the White House in Washington, DC, October 21, 2020. (Photo by Olivier DOULIERY / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who serves on the Jan. 6 select committee, on Sunday suggested that the panel plans to take action against former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows this week if he continues to defy the panel’s subpoena.

Appearing on CNN, Schiff was asked whether his suggestion earlier this month that the committee will “move quickly” to refer Meadows for criminal contempt charges after he refused to meet with congressional investigators is still likely going to happen.

Schiff replied that the committee will likely make a decision this week regarding actions taken against witnesses who have defied its subpoenas.

“I think we will probably make a decision this week on our course of conduct with that particular witness and maybe others,” Schiff said. “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.”

Schiff cited the House’s vote to hold Trump adviser Steve Bannon in contempt last month when saying that the same could apply to Meadows; Jeffrey Clark, a former Trump administration Justice Department official who attempted to use department resources to bolster former President Trump’s election fraud falsehoods, and stonewalled the committee; or anyone else who refuses to comply.

Asked whether he can confirm that there’s some cooperation with witnesses, Schiff declined to speak about any particular witnesses, but said that there has been some engagement from a variety of witnesses, including those who initially refused to cooperate, through their counsel.

“So, it varies witness to witness, but we discuss as a committee and with our legal counsel, what’s the appropriate step to make sure the American people get the information?,” Schiff said, adding that the committee intends to hold public hearings again soon to show what it’s “learning in real time.”

Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA), who also serves on the committee, issued similar remarks during an interview on CNN Saturday.

After saying that there is a “small window” in which Meadows can still comply with the subpoena, Aguilar said that if he still refuses to comply, the committee has made clear that it is “willing to use whatever means necessary.”

“I think that’s something we’ll have better clarity on here in the next week,” Aguilar said.

Pressed on whether that means Meadows has about a week to comply, Aguilar said that the hope is that Meadows comes around to complying with the subpoena, but if not then the committee will need to think through next steps.

“And I would imagine that would be within the next week here,” Aguilar said.

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