Who wants to join Steve Bannon in indictment land? Apparently, Mark Meadows. He failed to appear in response to the subpoena issued the House Select Committee. NBC News reported that staff and investigators left the room ten minutes after Meadows was scheduled to appear, with a court reporter in tow, as they had planned to depose him. Coward. Now, he needs to be treated like the coward he is and be referred to the DOJ for indictment. He can turn himself in like Bannon did or he can appear and turn over documents as requested. Either way, these people can no longer simply ignore subpoenas from this body.
Newsweek believes that Meadows will face criminal contempt charges based on Adam Schiff’s appearance on Meet the Press, where he said: “When ultimately witnesses decide as Meadows has, that they’re not even going to bother showing up, that they have that much contempt for the law, then it pretty much forces our hand and we’ll move quickly.” As they should. A district judge has ruled that Trump does not have executive privilege, so why would others believe they do? Even though an appeals court gave Trump a reprieve by holding up the release of documents last week, legal experts do not believe that he will ultimately prevail on his claim, which means people like Bannon and Meadows will certainly not prevail. Bennie Thompson spelled that out for Meadows’s attorney.
Thompson had already written to George Terwilliger, Meadows’ counsel, who claimed that Meadows “was ordered by former President Donald Trump to respect long-standing principles of executive privilege,” claiming that Meadows was thus immune from testifying. In his letter, Thompson advised Terwilliger that Meadows has “no valid legal basis” to claim executive privilege or immunity. If Meadows does not believe Thompson, he should ask Steve Bannon what he thinks. What a crock. Leave it to Trump to try to extend executive privilege to people who are not, never have been, and never will be president of the United States.
As NBC News reported, the indictment of Bannon has set a precedent that the remaining holdouts might want to consider. Meadows and Bannon are not the only two who have thus far ignored the committee’s subpoena power. The committee is still waiting to hear from Daniel Scavino and Kashyap Patel. Both men had better be paying attention. With Merrick Garland following the law, all who thumb their noses at the committee may be paying a debt they do not want to pay. Trump himself is not yet off the hook; the appeals court can still uphold the ruling of Judge Chutkan, and if they do, the only place he will have left to try is the Supreme Court, which set precedent on this issue years ago with Richard Nixon and Watergate. No matter how much the current court may seem to be in Trump’s pocket, they will have a hard time overturning that ruling and continue to claim they are not partisan. It is going to be interesting to see how this all turns out.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years