Mark Meadows Lawsuit: Subpoenas Invalid Because Pelosi Constituted Select Committee In Violation of House Authorizing Resolution
“Speaker Pelosi failed to appoint members consistent with the authorizing resolution of the Select Committee… Thus, the Select Committee as it currently stands—and stood at the time it issued the subpoenas in question—has no authority to conduct business because it is not a duly constituted Select Committee. Chairman Thompson’s subpoenas are invalid and unenforceable.”
The “Select Committee” of Democrats and two “Republicans” to investigate the January 6 riot is an abuse of power but typical for how efficient Democrats are at weaponizing their congressional power.
Mark Meadows, former Trump Chief of Staff, has been held in contempt by the Democrat-controlled House for failing to turnover all documents subpoeanaed by the Committee, sending a referral for prosecution.
U.S. House votes 222-208 to hold former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in criminal contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena issued by the Jan. 6 committee.
The referral now heads to the Justice Department.
— CSPAN (@cspan) December 15, 2021
The politically corrupted DOJ likely will oblige under the unfit rule of Merrick Garland.
Meadows has turned over many documents, but is fighting the subpoena and has filed a Complaint in federal court in D.C. It’s a fascinating read.
Here are some key segments. It starts by noting that the Committee is seeking a wholesale fishing expedition through Meadow’s electronic communications – that’s what I mean by the Committee being an abuse of power.
1. Plaintiff, the Honorable Mark Meadows (“Mr. Meadows”), a private citizen who previously served as a Member of Congress and subsequently as Chief of Staff to the President of the United States, brings this complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief to invalidate and prohibit the enforcement of two overly broad and unduly burdensome subpoenas from a select committee of the U.S. House of Representatives (the “Select Committee”) issued in whole or part without legal authority in violation of the Constitution and laws of the United States.
2. The Select Committee wrongly seeks to compel both Mr. Meadows and a third party telecommunications company to provide information to the Select Committee that the Committee lacks lawful authority to seek and to obtain. The Select Committee acts absent any valid legislative power and threatens to violate longstanding principles of executive privilege and immunity that are of constitutional origin and dimension. Without intervention by this Court, Mr. Meadows faces the harm of both being illegally coerced into violating the Constitution and having a third party involuntarily violate Mr. Meadows rights and the requirements of relevant laws governing records of electronic communications. Only this Court can prevent these grave harms.
3. For months, Mr. Meadows has consistently sought in good faith to pursue an accommodation with the Select Committee whereby it could obtain relevant, non-privileged information. While the Committee and Mr. Meadows engaged over a period of time in an effort to achieve such reasonable accommodation, the Select Committee adamantly refused to recognize the immunity of present and former senior White House aides from being compelled to appear before Congress and likewise refused to recognize a former president’s claims of Executive Privilege and instructions to Mr. Meadows to maintain such privilege claims in addressing the Select Committee’s inquiries.
4. The current President of the United States, through counsel, purported to waive the former president’s claims of privilege and immunity.
5. As a result, Mr. Meadows, a witness, has been put in the untenable position of choosing between conflicting privilege claims that are of constitutional origin and dimension and having to either risk enforcement of the subpoena issued to him, not merely by the House of Representatives, but through actions by the Executive and Judicial Branches, or, alternatively, unilaterally abandoning the former president’s claims of privileges and immunities. Thus, Mr. Meadows turns to the courts to say what the law is.
But it’s not just about overbreadth of the subpoena. Meadows challenges the validity of the committee as constituted by Pelosi.
Did you know that @SpeakerPelosi failed to comply w/ House Resolution rules re formation of the Jan. 6 committee? I didn't until I read Meadows' lawsuit. Presents fascinating legal question: Can a Committee not properly constituted issue subpoenas?
— Margot Cleveland (@ProfMJCleveland) December 14, 2021
Here’s the pertinent section from the Complaint:
A. The subpoenas are not validly issued by a duly authorized committee.
91. The composition of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol is governed by Section 2 of H. Res. 503. Section 2(a) states “Appointment Of Members.—The Speaker shall appoint 13 Members to the Select Committee, 5 of whom shall be appointed after consultation with the minority leader.” H. Res. 503 117th Cong. (2021).
92. Speaker Pelosi has appointed only nine members to the Select Committee: seven Democrats and two Republicans. None of these members was appointed from the selection of five GOP congressman put forth by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
93. Authorized congressional committees have subpoena authority implied by Article I of the Constitution. McGrain v. Daugherty, 273 U.S. 135, 174 (1927). The Select Committee, however, is not an authorized congressional committee because it fails to comport with its own authorizing resolution, House Resolution 503.
94. Congress’ failure to act in accordance with its own rules is judicially cognizable. Yellin v. United States, 374 U.S. 109, 114 (1963). This is particularly significant where a person’s fundamental rights are involved.
95. Speaker Pelosi failed to appoint members consistent with the authorizing resolution of the Select Committee. Pelosi has appointed only nine members of Congress to serve on the Select Committee; whereas the authorizing resolution instructs the Speaker “shall” appoint thirteen members. H. Res. 503 § 2(a), 117th Cong. (2021).
96. Further, of those nine members Speaker Pelosi has appointed, none of them was appointed after consultation with the minority member, as is required by the authorizing resolution. H. Res. 503 § 2(a), 117th Cong. (2021).
97. Thus, the Select Committee as it currently stands—and stood at the time it issued the subpoenas in question—has no authority to conduct business because it is not a duly constituted Select Committee. Chairman Thompson’s subpoenas are invalid and unenforceable.
98. Chairman Thompson derives the authority to issue subpoenas solely from § 5(c)(6) of the Select Committee’s authorizing statute, but this authority is qualified, not absolute. The Select Committee chairman may not order the taking of depositions without consultation with the ranking minority member of the Select Committee.
99. As the Select Committee has no ranking minority member, Chairman Thompson failed to make the requisite consultation before issuing the subpoena that compelled Mr. Meadows to appear for a deposition. The ordering of Mr. Meadows’ deposition runs afoul of the Select Committee’s authorizing resolution, making it invalid and unenforceable.
There are other challenges raised in the lawsuit, including:
B. The subpoenas are not issued to further a valid legislative purpose.
C. The Select Committee seeks to use an excessively broad third-party subpoenas to
obtain personal cell phone data.
C. The Select Committee cannot obtain records under the Verizon Subpoena consistent
with the Stored Communications Act [my note: repeat lettering of “C” in original]
D. The subpoenas violate executive privilege.
E. The Select Committee violates longstanding testimonial immunity for senior advisors
to the President.
E. Compelled production under the Verizon Subpoena would violate the Fourth
F. Compelled production of cell phone data under the Verizon Subpoena would violate
the First Amendment.
As you can tell, the subpoena is a sweeping attempt to get Meadow’s electronic communications and phone records. This is a political attack.DONATE
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