Capitol attack panel set to recommend contempt charges against Mark Meadows | US Capitol attack

The House panel investigating the 6 January insurrection at the US Capitol is set to recommend contempt charges against former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Monday as lawmakers are releasing new details about thousands of emails and texts he has handed over to the committee.

In laying out the case for the contempt vote, the nine-member panel released a 51-page report late on Sunday that details its questions about the documents he has already provided – including 6,600 pages of records taken from personal email accounts and about 2,000 text messages.

The panel did not release the documents but described some of them. The report gives details about Meadows’s efforts to help Donald Trump overturn his defeat in the presidential election, communications with members of Congress and organizers of a rally held the morning of the insurrection and frantic messages among aides and others as the violent attack unfolded that day.

The panel says it also wants to know more about whether Trump was engaged in discussions regarding the response of the National Guard, which was delayed for hours as the violence escalated and the rioters brutally beat police guarding the Capitol building.

The report says that the documents provided by Meadows show that he sent an email to an unidentified person saying that the guard would be present to “protect pro-Trump people” and that more would be available on standby. The committee does not give any additional details about the email.

The committee says in the report that Trump’s former top White House aide “is uniquely situated to provide key information, having straddled an official role in the White House and unofficial role related to Mr Trump’s reelection campaign.”

The contempt vote comes after more than two months of negotiations with Meadows and his lawyer and as the panel has also struggled to obtain information from some of Trump’s other top aides, such as his longtime ally Steve Bannon.

The House voted to recommend charges against Bannon in October, and the Department of Justice indicted him on two counts of contempt last month.

The panel is aiming to develop the most comprehensive record yet of the violent attack, in which hundreds of Trump’s supporters violently pushed past the law enforcement officers, broke into the Capitol and interrupted the certification of Biden’s victory.

Meadows’s testimony could be key, as he was Trump’s top aide at the time and was with him in the White House as the rioters breached the building.

The committee’s chairman, Democratic representative Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, scheduled the vote last week after Meadows failed to show up at his deposition.

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