The Columbus Dispatch

Meadows sues House Jan. 6 panel

- Mary Clare Jalonick and Eric Tucker

WASHINGTON – Former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Wednesday sued the House committee investigat­ing the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrecti­on as the chairman of the panel pledged to move forward with contempt charges against him for defying a subpoena.

The dueling actions laid bare simmering tensions between the committee and Meadows, seen by lawmakers on the panel as a pivotal player in their investigat­ion, and reflected a remarkable turnabout from last week, when Meadows’ lawyer had declared his intention of cooperatin­g with the committee on certain areas of their inquiry.

Meadows’ lawsuit, filed in federal court in Washington, asks a judge to invalidate two subpoenas that he says are “overly broad and unduly burdensome.” It accuses the Jan. 6 committee of overreachi­ng by issuing a subpoena to Verizon for his cellphone records.

“Allowing an entirely partisan select committee of Congress to subpoena the personal cell phone data of executive officials would work a massive chilling of current and future Executive Branch officials’ associatio­nal and free speech rights,” the lawsuit states.

The complaint was filed hours after Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson, the committee chairman, declared he had “no choice” but to proceed with contempt charges against Meadows, who was subpoenaed more than two months ago and did not show up Wednesday for a scheduled deposition. Meadows’ lawyer, George Terwillige­r, told the committee on Tuesday that his client was ending his cooperatio­n.

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