Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows says the Democrat-led Jan. 6 Select Committee “selectively leaked” text messages that he provided to the committee.
During an interview on Newsmax, Meadows said the committee “leaked” the text messages to push a false narrative and attack Donald Trump.
“We’ve tried very hard, in [a] very transparent and accommodating way, to share non-privileged information,” Meadows said. “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,” Meadows said.
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.”
“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,” he added.
Among the text messages leaked to the public are private texts sent from Donald Trump Jr. to Meadows urging him to get then-President Trump to 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.
Wyoming GOP Rep. Liz Cheney, who sits on the Democrat-led committee, revealed those messages on Monday during the hearing on the contempt charges.
“I’m pushing it hard, I agree,” Meadows tweeted back to Trump Jr.
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.”
“It’s not a surprising decision by the committee,” Meadows told Newsmax. “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.”
WATCH: Rep. Liz Cheney reads text messages turned over by Mark Meadows, some from Fox News hosts and Donald Trump Jr., regarding Jan. 6 Capitol attack. https://t.co/RdYLvfum24 pic.twitter.com/rHgYlX0ZB3
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) December 14, 2021
In the messages, Donald Trump Jr. and Fox News hosts Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity urge Meadows to get then-President Donald Trump to tell his supporters to leave the Capitol. https://t.co/8829IKpMdb pic.twitter.com/Ebc2NM4NeU
— NPR (@NPR) December 14, 2021
In a Monday letter, Meadows legal team asked the House Jan. 6 Committee not to refer him to the Department of Justice for contempt of Congress, arguing doing so “would be contrary to law, manifestly unjust, unwise, and unfair.”
Meadows has sued Pelosi and members of the partisan House January 6 Committee.
The lawsuit asks a federal court in Washington, D.C. to nullify subpoenas issued by the committee for Meadows’ testimony and his phone records. Meadows also argued that the demand for his cooperation with Congress is “overly broad and unduly burdensome.”
The lawsuit comes after Meadows informed the committee that he would no longer cooperate with its investigation.
Meadows argued in the filing that, “absent any valid legislative power,” may result in “grave harms” — namely that he could be “illegally coerced into violating the Constitution” in failing to comply with former President Trump’s claims of executive privilege.
Meadows pointed out that he had handed over thousands of records to the committee, including “1,139 documents and 6,836 total pages” — all non-privileged — and “2,319 text messages and metadata from his personal cell phone.”