Mark Meadows, chief of staff to former President Donald Trump, on Friday asked the Supreme Court to deliver a “prompt” answer regarding Trump’s lawsuit against the House Jan. 6 committee seeking documents from the ex-president and his allies.
A Hill report said Meadows’ lawyer, George J. Terwilliger III, filed an amicus brief Friday asking that the high court be expeditious in taking up a lawsuit looking to keep communications and documents Trump had leading up to Jan. 6 from going to the House panel, which is probing the events leading up to the Capitol siege a year ago.
The panel has said that Trump, Meadows and other Trump allies need to turn over communications relating to the events leading up to that day. But Trump is claiming the information is covered by executive privilege since it arises from his time as the sitting president. So far, the privilege claim has failed to gain any traction with lower courts.
The case is now at the Supreme Court, and, as first reported by Politico, Meadows’ lawyer is insisting in his filing on a prompt response because it “raises important and timely issues.”
The Hill, offering some context to the argument, said Terwilliger believes the case gives the court the opportunity to “provide a needed check on continued growth of congressional investigations” and “to opine on whether Congress and the incumbent President may agree to override” the protections of executive privilege.
The issues carry high stakes. The House panel is a lightning rod for criticisms that it is conducting a highly partisan probe intended to ultimately pin full responsibility for the riot on Trump. Critics of the Trump administration have maintained for the past year that Trump incited the riot at a rally shortly before the Capitol was breached, where he renewed his claims that the election won by Joe Biden was marred by massive election fraud.
Participants in the riot breached the Capitol in an effort to stop Congress from certifying the election results for Biden.
In recent weeks, Meadows has been a focus in the House’s investigation. While initially cooperating with its requests, he subsequently refused to appear before the panel to discuss his communications with the former president. He echoed the claims of executive privilege.
At first Meadows turned over thousands of messages he had with Trump and other GOP lawmakers. Some revealed memos show Republicans texting Meadows during the riot asking him to convince Trump to urge rioters to disperse.
The House subsequently voted to hold Meadows in criminal contempt for defying its subpoena, referring the matter to the Justice Department.
The Supreme Court has not commented on the case, The Hill said. There’s no information on a deadline for responding to the Meadows team’s brief.