Meadows Could Face Criminal Charges, Civil Action for 1/6 Subpoena Noncompliance: Thompson

Mark Meadows, who was Donald Trump's chief of staff when a mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to stop the certification of Joe Biden's election, faces potential criminal charge and civil action if he doesn't comply with a House subpoena to produce records and testify about the riot.

"The Select Committee will view Mr. 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 are protected by privilege, as willful non-compliance," Representative Bennie Thompson wrote in a letter to Meadows' attorney Thursday evening—just hours after Meadows indicated he wouldn't comply.

Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, is chairing the House's special investigation panel on the January 6 Capital attack.

Meadows has sought to invoke executive privilege—a right afforded to presidents to maintain confidential discussions and records. President Joe Biden's administration has said it will not extend that privilege to Meadows, who insists that Trump can still grant it, or to other Trump allies that House investigators are seeking information from as they review what role Trump had in the insurrection.

Meadows' deposition testimony before the House panel is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday.

His lawyer, former U.S. Deputy Attorney General George Terwilliger III, didn't immediately respond to Newsweek's request for comment.

Meadows, a former North Carolina congressman who was one of Trump's key allies on Capitol Hill, was tapped to be Trump's chief of staff in March 2020. He remained in the position until Trump left office in January 2021.

He was reportedly one of the key figures in the effort to overturn the 2020 election outcome, pressing lawmakers to resist the certification of Biden's victory.

Records from Trump's time in office, including those linked to the events of January 6, are housed at the National Archives.

Earlier this week, a federal judge rejected Trump's attempt to block the House select committee from accessing documents related to his unsuccessful bid to overturn the 2020 election. On Thursday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit granted Trump's emergency motion for an injunction preventing release of the documents.

In his Thursday letter to Terwilliger, Thompson wrote that "Meadows has not produced even a single document in response to the Select Committee's subpoena." He added, "Simply put, there is no valid legal basis for Mr. Meadows's continued resistance to the Select Committee's subpoena."

He further wrote that willful noncompliance "could result in a referral from the House of Representatives to the Department of Justice for criminal charges—as well as the possibility of having a civil action."

Mark Meadows faces January 6 Committee threat
A House committee investigating the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol is seeking information from former Donald Trump chief of staff Meadows, but he has resisted their requests. Above, Meadows and his wife, Debbie, at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on January 20. ALEX EDELMAN / AFP/Getty Images