The House voted Tuesday to find former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify before a Democratic-led panel investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.

Meadows, a former House Republican lawmaker, is the second Trump aide to face charges from the Department of Justice for failing to testify. A federal grand jury last month indicted Trump adviser Steve Bannon after the House voted to find him in contempt of Congress for refusing to talk to the committee.


Meadows did not comply with a subpoena to testify before the riot panel Dec. 8.

Meadows’s lawyer told the nine-member committee he would not cooperate because doing so would require disclosing privileged information.

But the panel's seven Democrats and two Republicans argued that Meadows was not protected by executive privilege and was flouting the panel as it attempted to determine what provoked the riot — and the role GOP lawmakers and Trump played in it.

All the while, they argued, Meadows’s new book included much of the information the panel hoped to talk to him about.

Meadows had already provided thousands of pages of documents to the committee before suddenly deciding to quit cooperating.

“And then something changed,” Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Maryland Democrat said. “His book came out and apparently embarrassed Donald Trump.”

The panel's two Republicans, Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, have been at odds with much of the GOP conference over Trump and believe he should be blocked from ever serving in public office again due to his actions before and during the riot.

“How we address Jan. 6 is the moral test of our generation,” Cheney said.

With the exception of Cheney and Kinzinger, however, Republicans opposed the resolution, which passed 222-208, arguing that Democrats created the Jan. 6 panel for political purposes and to prolong the focus on the Capitol attack and any ties to the GOP.

“This select committee is not at all interested in doing anything to prevent something like Jan. 6 from happening again,” said Rep. Jim Banks, an Indiana Republican. “It’s all about burying their political opponents.”

Democrats said Meadows has answers to dozens of questions about the events leading up to the Jan. 6 riot as well as what happened that day.

The panel has zeroed in on GOP involvement and said Meadows received many texts from Republican lawmakers during the attacks urging him to convince Trump to call off the protesters.

Some of the messages were encrypted, and Democrats believe they should have access to those exchanges too.

“For 187 minutes, Mark Meadows was besieged by cries for help from citizens, members of the press, from members of the president’s own family, and from our colleagues in this chamber pleading for Mr. Meadows to intervene and stop the attack,” said Rep. Elaine Luria, a Virginia Democrat and member of the Jan. 6 committee. “The American people need to understand what happened during that 187 minutes.”

Republicans pointed out that Congress has already impeached Trump on charges that he provoked the attack, and Senate panels have conducted separate investigations, as have law enforcement groups.

The ranking Republican on the House Administration Committee questioned why Democrats are not focused on critical security lapses that made it possible for the rioters to push their way past the police and easily gain entry into the Capitol, where they sent lawmakers and staff running for safety.


The House has yet to implement some of the security recommendations made in the aftermath of the attack, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has refused to answer questions about why the National Guard request made by the Capitol Police chief was denied, Republicans said.

“It makes you ask yourself, 'What is the majority hiding?'” said Rep. Rodney Davis, an Illinois Republican. “And why are their priorities not the men and women serving in the Capitol Police and making this Capitol more secure forever? We need these reforms. They should have been done months ago.”