Meadows filed his friend of the court brief in Trump’s ongoing lawsuit against the select committee in October. The Federal District and the Courts of Appeals in Washington, DC, have strongly rejected Trump’s efforts to overturn Biden, but the case is now awaiting a Supreme Court ruling. Judges are meeting for a conference on Friday, and the House urged them to reject Trump’s efforts to stay lower court rulings – and to do so by mid-January.
For Meadows, a decision by the judges to hear the case could save him possible charges of criminal contempt. The House last month asked the Justice Department to indict Meadows for refusing to appear for a deposition, and the DOJ has been considering the referral for more than three weeks. The department has previously indicted another Trump ally, Steve Bannon, for refusing to cooperate with the committee. Bannon is due to be tried in July.
More than a dozen other Trump aides and associates have filed suit against the committee in recent weeks, trying to block subpoenas for their testimony or their phone and banking records. Among them: former national security adviser Michael Flynn, Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich, pro-Trump radio host Alex Jones, lawyer John Eastman and lawyer Cleta Mitchell. Many of the agents who helped organize the pro-Trump rally on Jan.6 that preceded the attack on Capitol Hill are also battling subpoenas for their cases.
Meadows appears to believe that the Supreme Court’s review of the Trump case could avoid legal consequences for him and others facing subpoenas, since the judges’ final decision would be their refusal to testify.
“If the Court found that President Trump has a valid claim of privilege that President Biden cannot waive, or that the select committee is not pursuing a valid legislative objective, then the select committee should restrict its investigation (or at least go back to the drawing board) in a way that could overshadow much of the ongoing litigation, ”Terwilliger writes.
Notably, Meadows seems to agree with the House’s sense of urgency. His lawyer has repeatedly urged the court to make a “timely” decision.
“A swift response is important because, whatever the court ruling, its ruling will guide the parties in all related litigation,” Terwillinger writes, noting that even if Trump loses, “[Meadows] and other former officials would be guided by the court’s decision both in their own litigation and in their broader relationship with the select committee.
Meadows also filed his own lawsuit seeking to prevent the committee from carrying out his subpoena for his documents and testimony. In this lawsuit, he echoes Trump’s claims about executive privilege and also argues that even former senior White House advisers cannot be compelled to testify before Congress. Like Trump, Meadows also alleges that the Jan. 6 committee is conducting an invalid investigation, focusing on inappropriate “law enforcement” objectives rather than developing legislation.