The Jan. 6 Select Committee “selectively leaked” the text messages given to it by former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, he told Newsmax on Monday, merely to spin a false narrative and attack former President Donald Trump.
“We’ve tried very hard, in [a] very transparent and accommodating way, to share non-privileged information,” Meadows said on “Rob Schmitt Tonight.” “And what we found out tonight is that not only did that just get disregarded, but then they tried to weaponize text messages, selectively leaked them, to put out a narrative, quite frankly, that the president didn’t act.
“And I can tell you this: The president did act.”
The House Jan. 6 Committee voted 9-0 earlier Monday to send a resolution to a full House vote. That measure urges the Justice Department to charge Meadows with contempt of Congress for not fully submitting to the wishes of the committee’s subpoena.
“It’s not about holding me in contempt,” Meadows told host Rob Schmitt. “It’s about coming after President Donald Trump, and sadly, that’s what tonight’s vote was all about.”
Meadows added he has tried to comply with the committee’s subpoena, but he would not do so by violating Trump’s right to executive privilege. The assertion of privilege by the former president and his aides remains a point of contention.
“We tried to help and accommodate,” Meadows continued. “The attorneys I had working with me worked on nonprivileged information. We said all along we were going to protect the president’s executive privilege. We continue to do so. We will continue to do that.
“We think that it’s a decision that the courts need to weigh in on. Obviously, Congress thinks that I should waive the executive privilege. It’s not mine to waive, and so we’re going to honor President Trump’s executive privilege claim until the courts tell us differently.”
Among the texts spilled to Congress and the American people are private texts sent from Donald Trump Jr. to Meadows urging him to get then-President Trump is deliver an Oval Office address to Americans amid the Jan. 6 protest at the Capitol.
“He’s got to condemn this s**t ASAP; the Capitol Police tweet is not enough,” Trump Jr. texted Meadows on Jan. 6, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., committee co-chair, said in Monday’s hearing on contempt charges.
“I’m pushing it hard, I agree,” Meadows tweeted back to Trump Jr., Cheney told the panel before the vote.
Cheney added that Trump Jr. sent a number of messages to the chief of staff to urge further action from Trump during the chaotic events of the day.
“We need an Oval Office address,” Trump Jr. also tweeted to Meadows, according to Cheney. “He has to lead now. It has gone too far and gotten out of hand.”
The full House will likely vote Tuesday on recommending the Justice Department charge Meadows with contempt of Congress, a resolution expected to pass the House because Democrats hold a slight majority.
“It’s not a surprising decision by the committee,” Meadows told Schmitt in the exclusive interview. “We really need to look at what it’s all about. They have nothing to run on. They want to talk about Build Back Busted, and yet what they’ve done is had a contempt vote.”