The Democratic-controlled House voted Tuesday night to recommend that the Department of Justice pursue criminal charges against former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows for failing to appear for a deposition with the select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.
The vote was 222-208. Two Republicans who sit on the select committee, Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, voted with Democrats in favor of the referral.
On Monday, the House select committee unanimously voted in favor of holding Meadows in contempt of Congress and now it is up to the Justice Department to decide if it will pursue criminal charges against ex-President Donald Trump’s former chief of staff.
The vote, despite being pushed through by a Democratic majority, marks a significant moment in the January 6 investigation given Meadows’ role as Trump’s chief of staff and his intimate knowledge of efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Meadows is the second official to face such a referral from the panel. The committee approved a criminal contempt report against Trump ally Steve Bannon in October after he refused to comply with a subpoena deadline.
Meadows has consistently insisted he wants to shield some of his conversations with the former President under claims of executive privilege but has already handed over thousands of documents which the panel says only adds to the need for him to testify.
But so far, Meadows has refused to do so and his defiance is at the core of Tuesday’s vote to refer him on criminal charges.